Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Silly Gartner hype cycle charts and "idea management"

Silicon Alley Insider's Here Comes The Twitter Backlash post includes a Gartner Hype Cycle chart.

I've seen these before, and I'm a wee bit suspicious that the items on the right side of "time" axis (which has no units) don't correspond to prior chart left side items.

In addition to selective recall and publication the unit-free time axis is key. That lets Gartner put SOA and "speech recognition" relatively close together on the graph, even though the maximal hype for SOA was about 3 years ago and for speech recognition it was 21 years ago.

There's one item in the cute info-free graphic that caught my fancy though. They list "idea management" as "post-hype".

Idea management?!

That one has completely passed me by but (thanks G) this blog post helped. Wow, I managed to almost completely dodge a very silly management fad. Until now. Yuck.

Clue to Gartner - ideas are easy.


bhc3 said...

John -

Your take on idea management is one I've seen before. Generally, that the notion of idea management is not real. Another thing I hear is ideas cannot be "managed". In response, I wrote up these 8 principles of innovation management:

1. Innovation benefits from a range of perspectives
2. Four of the most damaging words an employee can say: "Aww, forget about it"
3. Create a culture of constant choices
4. Looking at innovation as a discipline
5. Focus employees' innovation priorities
6. Recognizing innovation as a funnel with valuable leaks
7. Establishing a common platform for innovation is a revolutionary step forward
8. Innovation must be more than purely emergent, disorganized and viral

Full explanations available for each principle on the Spigit blog at: http://blog.spigit.com/permalink/2009/07/22/eight_principles_of_enterprise_innovation_management

Finally, to your point, "Ideas are easy". My guess is that the second part of that statement might be something like, "Innovation is hard." That's why the newest generation of platforms, like Spigit, are providing a range of tools to make it easier to identify the best ideas of the bunch. And treat innovation as more than a simple popularity contest of a bunch of ideas.

Invite you to check out Spigit if you're interested.

Hutch Carpenter

Vincent Carbone said...


Anything company Brightidea Inc. (www.brightidea.com) has been doing Idea Management for over 10 years now.

I do agree with you that the hype cycle may be a bit off because even though we have been in the market for years, corporate adoption of Idea Management system are really just starting.

We have several case studies on our website if you are interested:

Vincent Carbone

Imaginatik said...

Sure... ideas are easy.

Innovation is hard. And innovation generates all the value.

Thank goodness major companies like Pfizer, Merck, Boeing, Bombardier, Xerox, Whirlpool, Cargill, Chubb and many others did not read this post before they made major investments - and delivered large-scale tangible results. Otherwise they might never had any success from this 'silly idea'.

Yup, you're right. Ideas are easy. And this post is a good example of an 'easy' idea'. Now, that makes me think of the evaluation process and evaluation biases that exist and need to me managed within an Idea MANAGEMENT process. I wonder for yourself whether you thought mobile phones would ever take off, or if you still think Facebook is a fad (or if you ever thought as such). These would be examples of how you need to carefully think through a process of innovation, including who is allowed to make judgments on what is right or wrong, what gets funded and what does not.

I look forward to seeing how your predictions wokr out.

Mark Turrell
CEO, Imaginatik plc