HBR - How To Save Good Ideas

Managing Yourself: How to Save Good Ideas - from the Oct 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review.This is an interview with John P. Kotter by Jeff Kehoe. John Kotter's latest book, Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down, came out. I reviewed it (see my review post here, and my Amazon.com review). The book is quite short, and organized in a way that makes it easy to use as a ready-reckoner.

This interview basically talks about the book, about ideas that people have, and how to defend these ideas. Ideas are innovation, while a successful defense of the idea is execution, if one were to put it across as an analogy.
Well, it’s one thing to be able to generate ideas by digging up data, analyzing it, and putting it together in some kind of logical way. But gaining the support you need is an entirely different story.
It doesn't matter why people are attacking your ideas. It could be malice. It could be skepticism. It could be jealousy. It could be for entertainment - they just happen to be psychopaths. It is really irrelevant, to the extent that the end you need to have in your mind is a successful defense of your idea, of your proposal. So argue the authors.
It could be that they’re jealous because you got the last promotion or because you get more attention even though they think their ideas are better. It could be that it’s an innocent skeptic, and one of the ways this skeptic has learned to test ideas is to punch at you and see how well you’ve done your homework. It could be a person who just likes to draw attention in meetings.

© 2010, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.