Is asking for “big” ideas killing your innovation engine?

I have always considered myself to be an innovative thinker. When in the 1990’s I first experienced the World Wide Web on an xterm with a Mosaic browser my curiosity got me into web development. Ever since then I’ve been kept a close eye on innovation and creative attempts. Everyone IS creative. However the biggest threat to creativity is a lack of confidence (Watch IDEO’s David Kelley TED talk).

Over the past few years “innovation” has become a catch word. Everyone is trying to do it and everything they do they call innovation. It’s great that people want to be innovative but I wonder if the execution is flawed.

How so? Well when I see ‘Big’ idea being asked for a few questions pop up in my head.

  • What is a big idea?
  • Who decides if an idea is a big idea?
  • Does it take a “BIG” idea to have a innovative product?

My gut feeling is that asking for a “BIG” idea might actually be hurting you. Just ask for ideas. People in general don’t give themselves enough credit and therefore you might be missing out because you ask for “BIG” ideas.