The Quest for Big Ideas
As a CEO, you know that the guaranteed road to success lies in predicting future market trends and the future needs of your clients, and in introducing the ultimate product at the perfect time, with the best market strategies. Can you predict future market trends? Do you know what the winning product will be, when to launch it and how to get it to your clients? If so, then you are one of the top percent of super- successful CEOs who have led their companies to the heights of success. But if you are like most CEOs, fumbling in the dark and trying to guess the answer to this million (or billion) dollar question, then this article is meant for you.
Using conventional methods to identify future trends and to select products requires gathering information about market trends, competitors’ activities, client preferences, technological advances and the like. The common thread in these methods is a concentration on existing information and extrapolating that information to make future decisions. Conventional methods can lead to improvements in the existing product, to a certain shift in your market focus, or to a concentration on a certain segment of the market. But they won’t lead to innovation. They won’t help shape a new, original product, or discover a fresh and previously unknown client need. People around the world didn’t know they needed a personal computer until Apple, Microsoft and others demonstrated the need. People did not know, or demand, a way to acquire every possible product without leaving their homes until companies like Amazon, eBay, and similar companies, presented this most comfortable option to them.
Conventional methods for gathering information and making decisions will never bring about innovation in products, services or markets. They also won’t help the company take their business to the next level. Only an integrated and intelligent usage of conventional methods together with unconventional methods will allow for a future breakthrough. This combination of methods has facilitated amazing growth in certain companies and has helped create giant companies whose product or service did not even exist until shortly before they launched.
In the previous article, I described an information source that is available to everyone, sometimes called ‘cosmic intelligence’, and I explained briefly how it is possible to connect to it and to draw information from it. Cosmic intelligence is a limitless supply of information that has no physical place and can’t be measured or proven scientifically. However, it is used widely by all innovative people and companies in the world. People such as Albert Einstein, Mozart, Steve Jobs and others, who discovered and invented new things, made use of cosmic intelligence on a regular basis. I explained in a previous article how you can connect to this knowledge and draw information from it for your own benefit.
Once again, for all those who have reservations, who only place their trust on their five physical senses and are not willing to accept the existence of intangible and immeasurable elements, I want to remind you that neuroscientists are unable to explain how the idea for an innovative product “enters” the brain of the inventor; how a new symphony “gets into” the brain of the composer, so that he hears it in his head; or how you sometimes “feel” and guess who is calling on the phone at a specific moment. There is no scientific explanation for cosmic intelligence. But to the inventers, scientists and managers that use it, there is no doubt that it exists and allows them to create.
People are usually unaware that they use cosmic intelligence. If you interview creative people or CEOs that directed their company to leading market and innovation positions and ask them how they are connected to cosmic intelligence, they won’t understand what you are talking about. But if you investigate more deeply and you ask from where and how they get their ideas and how they make decisions, you will get some surprising answers. One will say to you that his best ideas come to him during his morning shower; a second will say that the breakthrough came when she was playing with her kids on vacation; a third will say that when he heard about a new product or investment, he “had a gut feeling” if it was good or not; and a fourth will speak about the good ideas that come up during his daily meditation in which he “clears” his head of thoughts, and new ideas pop up. Almost no one will say that the idea for a new product came to them while sitting in the conference room after a long day of discussions about it.
Now, you will likely ask: Are you suggesting that I base my company’s entire future on an abstract idea that will arrive from an unclear source that you call “cosmic intelligence”?
My answer is: Not only, but also. What do I mean? When you, the CEO, find yourself at a crossroads and you have to make a decision regarding the future of the company, locating a new market, new products, or a new marketing strategy, you must expand your tools and use cosmic intelligence, in addition to conventional methods. I suggest you take action in the following way:
Phase 1 – Learning about the existing situation, as you are used to doing. You must gather all the available and existing information on the situation in the market: new trends, developing technologies, information on competitors, and the like. The information gathered should be presented to the company’s entire management team and to others that can contribute to decision-making in order to bring everyone to the same level of understanding and knowledge. At that time, you have to ask questions that are relevant to the situation; for example: What market segment should you penetrate? What features should you develop on your company’s flagship product? With which competitor should you join forces? Or any other subject that is up for consideration.
Phase 2 – Coming up with ideas, the most critical phase. As we have said, using conventional methods will produce answers and ideas that expand in a linear way on what is known and exists; that is to say, additional improvements only. But a CEO that wants his company to make a breakthrough can’t afford to settle for that. This is where you activate other methods that will allow decision-makers to arrive at innovative ideas that come from cosmic intelligence. I am referring to brainstorming, meditation, informal meetings in a relaxed setting and implementing the methods I mentioned in the last article. The process can go on for days, weeks, or even months, and the ideas and answers to the questions can come from anyone that takes part.
Phase 3 - Sifting through options and making decisions. Examining the answers to the questions that have come up will take place through using the conventional, well-known management tools: considering the technological capabilities of the company, cost vs. benefit, the company’s financial ability to fund these new activities, etc. But also at this stage, one must be careful and not kill an innovative idea just because it is difficult to put into action. My point is that if there is a consensus regarding the chances for success of the product and its ability to bring the company to new heights – even if, say, the company does not have then financial means to develop the product – you should begin a creative process to find a solution to the problem of financial lack through using the method I mentioned earlier. That method can be broken down into three phases – Phase 1: learning and mapping the current financial situation; Phase 2: coming up with breakthrough ideas regarding sources of funding, or development partners, or any other creative path, and Phase 3: sifting through options and making decisions.
Of course, it is possible and advisable to undergo a similar process in all other departments in the company including during the development phase of the product, or when forming marketing messages, or even when planning the production process. But the method of using cosmic intelligence to locate innovative ideas is most beneficial to the company on the management level.
You, the CEO, must give the creative decision-making process the time and the resources it needs in order to fully implement it in the best fashion. You have to offer support, be open to unexpected concepts, and include all those who can formulate ideas; among them will be people from outside of the company (consultants, clients, suppliers).