Tuesday, March 25, 2003
HBS Working Knowledge: Leadership: When Bad Ideas Won't Die - The University of Paris' Isabelle Royer tackles the problem of why some companies insist on implementing ideas that everyone deep down knows won't work. She pegs the problem to the triumph of belief and faith in an idea over logic and reason. One of the main instigators of the belief and faith is the project sponsor - and I suppose the suggestion of having what would essentially be a corporate "devil's advocate" is an interesting one. Of course, my personal thoughts would be that the idea should've been killed off before it even became a project. Leading companies use various collaborative techniques to ensure that as many different perspectives as possible are exposed to the idea. Th effect being that ideas that turn into concepts and then projects have been fully thought out with minimal room for failure, whilst bad ideas are found and killed off at an early stage before any emotional attachment is made to it. In any case - this is an interesting article - and the case studies alone make it worth while reading.