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The Idea Hunter

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The Idea Hunter

How to Find the Best Ideas and Make Them Happen


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Get out and look for fresh ideas.

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Lone geniuses who hide away pondering in ivory towers seldom experience those “Aha!” moments when the proverbial lightbulb switches on above their heads. The people who develop the most innovative concepts are “idea hunters,” who constantly search for pre-existing ideas they can adapt to their own ends. Management school dean Andy Boynton, professor Bill Fischer and journalist William Bole tell illuminating tales of successful idea hunters and explain – albeit with a bit of repetition – how real innovators generate great ideas; they hunt and gather. getAbstract recommends these stories and techniques to anyone seeking creative solutions.


Hunting for the Next Great Idea

At the beginning of the 20th century, adventurers flocked to Canada’s northern regions to get rich in the fur trade. These pioneers saw how the region’s aboriginal inhabitants kept their food fresh during the winter: They buried their perishable foodstuffs in the snow.

In 1912, Clarence Birdseye was one of the members of a fur-trapping expedition. After learning how the locals froze their foods with snow, he became intrigued about adapting fast freezing as a way to preserve food for consumers in the United States. Over time, Birdseye perfected his freezing process and invented the frozen-food industry. Birds Eye became an iconic brand.

Birdseye did not seclude himself to come up with his frozen-foods idea. He got out in the world, and kept his eyes open and his mind alert. He observed a good idea and understood that by adapting it, he could revolutionize the food industry. Birdseye wasn’t a genius; he just took a usable idea and applied it to his goals.

In today’s information economy, great ideas have immense value. The people generating these great ideas are not necessarily brilliant. Rather, like Clarence Birdseye, they...

About the Authors

Dean of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, Andy Boynton was previously a professor at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Bill Fischer is a professor of innovation management. William Bole is a journalist.

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    A. 1 decade ago
    A good summary that reinforces thinks that you may already know, but don't always do. Good suggested approaches to breaking down your thought process to allow for new ideas and use of examples to demonstrate the point that is being made.