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2013 idea design fischer long

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2013 idea design fischer long

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Ideas not understood are lost potential. The exponentially growing amount of information that
dominates our times and makes them successful is also growing in complexity. We approach
it with ever-new ideas. They are the significant commodities of our time. The information
society emerged from these ideas, and – in contrast to earlier ages – we need more and more
of them in order to master the mass of information and the consequences for understanding,
processing, and creating.
IDEA DESIGN, including the D'ARTAGNAN Principle as the ontological key as well as methods
for idea quality control, was developed based on SABINE FISCHER's 2012 dissertation, “The
Contemporary Use of the Term Idea, the Linguistic Shaping of Ideas and their Semantic Optimisation
Potential”5 at the European University Viadrina.

Ideas not understood are lost potential. The exponentially growing amount of information that
dominates our times and makes them successful is also growing in complexity. We approach
it with ever-new ideas. They are the significant commodities of our time. The information
society emerged from these ideas, and – in contrast to earlier ages – we need more and more
of them in order to master the mass of information and the consequences for understanding,
processing, and creating.
IDEA DESIGN, including the D'ARTAGNAN Principle as the ontological key as well as methods
for idea quality control, was developed based on SABINE FISCHER's 2012 dissertation, “The
Contemporary Use of the Term Idea, the Linguistic Shaping of Ideas and their Semantic Optimisation
Potential”5 at the European University Viadrina.

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2013 idea design fischer long

  1. 1. Understanding: Condensation and Clarity – IDEA DESIGN SABINE FISCHER in: "Leadership and Talent Management in a digital World" Logos Verlag Berlin 2013 Hrsg.: Frank Keuper, Mathias M. Hiebeler 1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 157 2 Understanding: Condensation and Clarity – IDEA DESIGN ........................................... 157 2.1 Requirements: Ideas Must Be Capable of Everything ................................................. 158 2.2 The D'ARTAGNAN Principle: The Idea of Condensation ............................................ 159 2.3 Quality Assurance for Ideas ......................................................................................... 162 2.3.1 An Idea's Degree of Fulfilment ................................................................................. 162 2.3.2 Creativity and Causality ............................................................................................ 164 2.4 IDEA DESIGN ............................................................................................................... 165
  2. 2. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do 1 157 Introduction Digital leaders are not only top-tier experts in their fields; they also have soft skills in equal measure, which allow them to successfully navigate their companies through unfamiliar waters. Leadership in digital business poses entirely new questions. How can international teams be led via digital media? How can employees be motivated in the digital economy? What does innovation management mean in the digital economy? How does one communicate expectations in the digital age? What type of leadership communication ensures long-term company success? How does one create and maintain an orientation toward the future within working teams? What social and legal responsibilities does a leader or a company have in digital business? In contrast to classical hierarchical leadership, today's leadership is subject to constant, dynamic change. Virtuality is one characteristic of modern organisational forms. This demands not only knowledge of relevant methods, but also their practical application and constant realignment with one's own behavioural patterns. Strategic thinking, conflict management and questions of leadership ethics and values are examples of the challenges that may have existed in the past, but without the same need for swift action as we find today. The three authors of this text are lecturers in the Master study programme “Leadership in Digital Communication” at the Berlin University of the Arts in cooperation with the University of St. Gallen. They introduce three of the requirements that will be most important in the digital economy: understanding, storytelling, listening. SABINE FISCHER will begin by deciphering the essence of “idea” and revealing challenges faced when developing understandable ideas. DIETER GEORG HERBST will explain the enormous potential of storytelling for the digital leader. MARTIN GROTHE will then clarify how important listening is in digital leadership and how listening can become participation. 2 Understanding: Condensation and Clarity – IDEA DESIGN Ideas not understood are lost potential. The exponentially growing amount of information that dominates our times and makes them successful is also growing in complexity. We approach it with ever-new ideas. They are the significant commodities of our time. The information society emerged from these ideas, and – in contrast to earlier ages – we need more and more of them in order to master the mass of information and the consequences for understanding, processing, and creating.
  3. 3. 158 FISCHER/GROTHE/HERBST The examination of ideas found in the fields of creativity1 and innovation development,2 as well as in idea3 and innovation management,4 is correspondingly comprehensive. Innumerable and partly very valuable theories, methods and principles have emerged all along the idea process chain and from innumerable vantage points. They enable us to develop ideas in an apparently effortless manner. But is everything that we call an idea really an idea? We are well aware of what is not an idea even if it has been introduced to us as such. An idea exists only if it is perceived as an idea. Perception means understanding in this case. If one doesn't understand an idea, it isn't attributed as an “idea”. We are talking about the moment in which an idea is expressed - and not understood. Hundreds of thousands of such promised ideas can be found in companies without being recognisable as an “idea!” After all, abstracts of business plans often become comprehensible only when studied intensively. Many a professionalised collection of ideas on the social web suffers from incomprehensibility. When writing the minutes of idea workshops, the fruits of the workshop are often known to lead to the question, “What was it we understood as X or Y?” Ideas are scrapped due to incomprehensibility. Does this make them all worthless? Ideas are potential values. Discarding bad ideas is a good thing. Discarding ideas because one doesn't understand them is a bad thing. Ideas not understood are lost potential – for companies, this can be economically disastrous. IDEA DESIGN, including the D'ARTAGNAN Principle as the ontological key as well as methods for idea quality control, was developed based on SABINE FISCHER's 2012 dissertation, “The Contemporary Use of the Term Idea, the Linguistic Shaping of Ideas and their Semantic Optimisation Potential”5 at the European University Viadrina. 2.1 Requirements: Ideas Must Be Capable of Everything The findings of the three-year research project among creative leaders and students included, among other things, an immense elasticity in the range of the definition and application of “idea”. IDEA DESIGN will take these requirements into consideration:  “Idea” must accommodate the open-endedness of its meaning. It is the goal when it is meant to solve problems; it is the bearer of hope when it is recognised as the solution; it is remarkable when it is discovered as already implemented.  Ideas must accommodate the wide range of their rhetorical application. They are, as a look in a random choice of dictionaries affords us, “creative thought”, “conception”, “notion”, “intention”, “plan”, “innovation”, “invention”, “intuition”, “vision”, “solution”, “archetype”, etc. 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 Vgl. GUILFORD (1959), S. 444 ff., and GLADWELL (2002). Vgl. BRODBECK (2006) and GESCHKA (2006). Vgl. ZERFASS (2009). Vgl. KERKA/DRAGANINSKA-YORDANOVA (2009). FISCHER (2012). Vgl. Wortschatzportal der Universität Leipzig (2010).
  4. 4. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do 159  The composition of an idea is changeable in all phases of its development. An idea is that which is temporarily understood by its owner to be an idea – first vague idea, stupid idea, tested idea or successfully implemented idea, etc.  Our intuitive seal of approval for ideas is the criterion of the “unexpectedly new” – whether as the result of an affable evening (“We certainly had some crazy ideas!”), as a business model (“Brilliant idea – let's turn it into a business!”) or even as “the greatest idea in human history” (the invention of the wheel).  Ideas demand that they be understood immediately as “idea!” The first expectation we have of an advertised idea is to grasp it ad hoc as “idea!”  Ideas for a broad audience require the knowledge consensus of that broad audience. Examples of successful lectures at idea conferences such as ted.com or the99percent.com make this clear. To be able to convey the essence of an idea, one usually has to move beyond the concrete realm and relate the core meaning via translations in layman's terms. Successfully conveyed ideas automatically fulfil these requirements. They form the point of departure for IDEA DESIGN and its fundamental D`ARTAGNAN Principle. 2.2 The D'ARTAGNAN Principle: The Idea of Condensation The D'ARTAGNAN Principle7 does not promote the demystification of ideas. Whether big or small, dazzling, inspirational ideas will always enchant. And yet before they have an effect, one must attend to their comprehensibility, which, like a good punch line, must touch the interlocutor. The objective of an idea is to be an idea [sic!]. Cause is not Solution is IDEA Value Figure 1: 7 The D‘ARTAGNAN Principle for the Semantic Optimisation of Ideas The term “D'ARTAGNAN Principle” is derived from the novel “Les trois mousquétaires” by ALEXANDRE DUMAS the elder. Just as the characteristic traits of the “three musketeers” ARTHOS, ARAMIS and PORTHOS serve as projection surfaces for D'ARTAGNAN (the fourth, who actually makes them into the “three musketeers”), so do problem, solution and value serve as the projection surface for the idea.
  5. 5. 160 FISCHER/GROTHE/HERBST The comprehensibility of an idea can be constructed as a concentrated unit of cause, solution and value. The idea becomes visible as an “idea!” This system of the units of meaning for an idea is based on the smallest possible algorithm. The D`ARTAGNAN Principle:  Cause: Ideas always have a cause. One encounters an unsolved problem or sees a challenge as yet not tackled. Without knowing the problem/challenge, a solution becomes difficult to find - and difficult to comprehend.  Solution: The solution is the idea's unexpected newness. The part we understand as "idea." The solution is the response to the problem/challenge. It is the extraordinary, new, unique notion to solve the problem.  Value: The value makes the particular significance of the solution clear and fulfils the requirements stipulated by the cause. The value redeems the meaning and significance of the idea - it makes the solution concrete. Formulating cause, solution and value means being able to communicate an idea comprehensibly. It is a principle of causality: the inter-conditionality of the units of meaning for “idea” is visible even before the content of the idea has been thought up. This principle is applicable from the process of idea generation, through quality assurance, through the formulation of a comprehensible idea, all the way to its anchoring in the implementation process. An example for the breakdown of a comprehensible idea (random choice from a professional online idea platform) according to the D'ARTAGNAN Principle: Chewing Pens for Designers  Cause: Designer DAVE HAKKENS likes to chew on pens while he works. He is not alone in this habit. The downside: plastic pens don't taste especially good and are not easily digested.  Solution: For this reason, HAKKENS has now developed a pen that can be eaten right down to the ink reservoir and ...  Value: ...even tastes good.8 The “idea” is characterised by taking an understandable problem and eliminating it with an unexpected and new solution while simultaneously creating visible value. 8 AUSGEFALLENE IDEEN (2011).
  6. 6. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do 161 An example of an incomprehensible idea: Social Network for Dogs  Cause  Solution: The start-up Snif Labs is a social network for dogs. It equips dogs with small transmitters on their collars. When two dogs who are wired for Snif meet each other, the devices exchange information via a specially designed (secure!) transmission protocol.  Value: Back at their desks, the dog owners can load the collected data onto the network and see whom else the dogs know and what their owners do.9 – In its construction, this idea lacks not only an internal logic, but also the cause that would make the solution understandable. The question, “What's the point?” becomes inevitable. The interplay among all three units of meaning, the dovetailing of their internal logic, creates the semantic optimisation of an idea, establishes the quality of comprehensibility, and can be a kind of translation of power (of thought) to propulsion (comprehensibility). Solution Cause IDEA Value Figure 2: 9 The Translation of Power to Propulsion. Vgl. WIRTSCHAFTSWOCHE ONLINE (2011).
  7. 7. 162 FISCHER/GROTHE/HERBST 2.3 Quality Assurance for Ideas Two fundamental methodological approaches to quality assurance for ideas will be introduced here by way of example, which will put the idea's degree of fulfilment to the test and analyse the idea's causality. 2.3.1 An Idea's Degree of Fulfilment Our contemporary understanding of ideas is determined by a versatility of application, the smallest common denominator of which is the idea's degree of fulfilment or implementation. Methodologically speaking, ideas can be tested for their fundamental degree of fulfilment as a kind of preliminary quality assurance. Thus, one can size up one's own understanding of an idea during the development phase and either approve or change it accordingly.  1. Idea as promise – the idea's degree of fulfilment is merely a rhetorical tool. The use of “idea” in the marketing language of sales appeal seems to substantiate the expectations one has of a novel product idea: “Always a good idea”, “the best idea in Germany”. The message does not describe the product, but rather plays with the term “idea” itself as a quality seal (see below).  2. Idea as judgment – the idea's fulfilment is negated. “You and your ideas!/You're always full of ideas!” The term describes itself as a novelty, but at the same time, devalues itself with the message that it is above and beyond surprising: outlandish, strange or peculiar.  3. Idea as vision – the fulfilment of the idea is indeterminate. The idea as a vision is an idea in a preliminary stage of its development. In the long run10, it will either reveal itself as a pipe dream or will actually be realised at some point, but most likely detached from the original idea.  4. Idea as goal – the idea's fulfilment is set as the objective. “We have to come up with an idea.” The idea as an objective is not a solution in itself, but it has been decided. The content of the idea is as yet undeveloped.  5. Idea as notion – the idea's potential fulfilment is aimed at. The cognitive approximation of a situation – which could be an idea – is described with concrete mental images: “I have an idea of what it could be ...” The objective of this approximation is to clarify the matter and bring about a common understanding.  10 6. Idea as discovery – the idea is there; its reasonableness must be tested. Vgl. DA VINCIS Ideen.
  8. 8. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do 163 Statements such as, “I just thought of something!” characterise the spontaneity of the moment. The event, the idea, has emerged suddenly and must subsequently be classified intellectually, assigned to a cause, and evaluated as to its reasonableness.  7. Idea as solution – the “thought” idea is fulfilled. The idea is a notion to solve a problem or meet a challenge and is intended to bring about a positive change. The idea's significance is understood as a valuable solution to a problem.  8. Idea as seal of quality – the “implemented” idea is fulfilled. Statements such as, “the greatest idea in human history”, “the 10 best management ideas”,11 or “She always has great ideas” refer to generally (game-changing) successful ideas that have already been implemented, whose significance is no longer attained via semantic understanding, but rather due to their successful realisation.  9. Idea as something of significance – the idea is an essential characteristic. With the idea of something, such as the idea of sustainability, “idea” becomes the guiding, meaningful concept of the matter at hand. “Idea” is the determining, essential force behind something, forgoing the significance of novelty in favour of the significance of the essential. (Idea as measure – “An idea more salt” is an idiomatic expression in German, in which the “idea” is a very small unit of measure. This meaning of idea is not considered here.) idea = overriding, ideal meaning, the essence of something idea = rhetorical use e.g. in advertising, promises the novelty and quality of a product Something of Significance idea = approved seal of quality of a successfully implemented “novelty“ 10 Seal of Quality Promise 8 6 4 idea = unique solution of a problem, yielding a positive, significant result 2 Solution 0 idea = intuition, spontaneous inspiration to be cognitively placed into context later Discovery Vision Notion idea = notion, inkling of the essence of something Figure 3: 11 Judgement Goal idea = rhetorical use as a means of irony, mostly downplaying idea = implementation is meanwhile considered impossible idea = no solution yet, but induced by set target “Idea Wheel” – Contemporary Understanding of Idea According to Degree of Fulfilment HARVARD BUSINESS MANAGER (2009), S. 1.
  9. 9. 164 FISCHER/GROTHE/HERBST 2.3.2 Creativity and Causality The D'ARTAGNAN Principle enables the creation of a stable, causal idea system in which creativity can naturally unfold. The differentiation between stable and unstable idea systems reveals the fragility of an idea and its potentially ambiguous effects. Stable idea systems: Cause Value Solution Idea Figure 4:  Continuity Stability in the Idea System Cause | Solution | Value = Idea The idea that can be understood, discussed and implemented is a logical unit consisting of cause, solution and value.  Cause | Solution | Value = Continuity Needs seem to be met; the situation is optimal throughout. (Potentially, there are problems or challenges as yet unseen.) Unstable idea systems: What is the effect to an “idea” when one or more units of meaning is missing? Certainly, if those communicating do not share the highest level of knowledge consensus, it leads to the demolition of the idea's comprehensibility. Cause Cause Solution Value Potential Recognition Discontinuity Daily Madness Cause Solution Strategic Question Figure 5: Value Solution Authority Instability in the Idea System Value Do-Goodness
  10. 10. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do  165 Cause | Solution | Value = Potential Recognition The recognition of a problem or challenge implies a view to something “better”, even if there is no solution yet. The attainable value can already be defined.  Cause | Solution | Value = Discontinuity A problem or challenge has emerged in a continuous state and demands “rescuing” action.  Cause | Solution | Value = Daily Madness A kind of “gratuitous” brainwave having neither a particular cause nor offering any value. Usually understood as a “playful idea” without a causal context (in contrast to a brainwave to which cause and value can be assigned afterwards).  Cause | Solution | Value = Strategic Question The solution is understood as an approach to an existing problem or challenge and must be tested strategically for its value and thus its quality.  Cause | Solution | Value = Authority The formulation of a solution and its appropriate value without an indication or knowledge of the cause, in other words, without the reason for the planned action, implying “blind following” on the part of the listener, not understanding.  Cause | Solution | Value = Do-Goodness The driving person is an idealist who may become an ideologue if his notion of value requires neither cause nor solution, but is rather used solely as an appeal to a “higher cause.” 2.4 IDEA DESIGN The essence of an idea is to be an idea [sic!]. This can only be achieved if it is understood. Creating understanding begins with the development of the idea as a principle of causality – D`ARTAGNAN Principle – and, in the best case, never ends. Understanding can be achieved in oneself and in the other by making the idea ascertainable in its entire substance. Result: Ideas are driven successfully! When an idea is identified as an idea, one can move on to the next steps of a successful implementation process while being assured of quality. This includes a thorough communication of the idea, building upon the D`ARTAGNAN Principle, such as one that follows the rules of storytelling.
  11. 11. Understanding, Storytelling, Listening – What Digital Leaders Can Do 166 References ANDERS, G. (2002): Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen: Über die Seele im Zeitalter der zweiten industriellen Revolution, o. O. 2002. ARBINGER, R. (1997): Psychologie des Problemlösens, Darmstadt 1997. AUSGEFALLENE IDEEN (2011): online: http://blog.ausgefallene-ideen.com/ 4.4.2011, Stand: 04.04.2011, Abruf: 09.09.2011. BACON, F. (1625): Of Innovations, online: http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francisbacon-25.html, Abruf: 15.08.2012. BLÄTTEL-MINK, B. (2006): Kompendium der Innovationsforschung, Wiesbaden 2006. BRODBECK, K.-H. (2006): New Trends in Creativity Research, in: Psychologie in Österreich, 26. Jg. (2006), Nr. 4–5, S. 253. CAMPBELL, J. (1999): Der Heros in tausend Gestalten, Frankfurt 1999. FISCHER, S. (2012): Die zeitgenössische Verwendung des Begriffs Idee, die sprachliche Gestaltung von Ideen und ihr semantisches Optimierungspotenzial, Frankfurt Oder 2012. GESCHKA, H. (2006): Kreativitätstechniken und Methoden der Ideenbewertung, in: SOMMERLATTE, T. / BEYER, G. / SEIDEL, G. (2006): Innovationskultur und Ideenmanagement. Strategien und praktische Ansätze für mehr Wachstum, Düsseldorf 2006. GLADWELL, M. (2002): Tipping Point: Wie kleine Dinge Großes bewirken können, München 2002. GUILFORD, J. P. (1950): Creativity, in: American Psychologist, 5. Jg. (1950), Nr. 9, S. 444– 454. HAVARD BUSINESS MANAGER (2009): Das Wissen der Besten, in: Erweiterte Deutsche Ausgabe des Havard Business Review, Ausgabe Februar 2009, S. 1. KERKA, F./DRAGANINSKA-YORDANOVA, T. (2009): Innovationshürde „Nicht-Verstehen von Ideen“, in: KRIEGESMANN, B. (Hrsg.), Berichte aus der angewandten Innovationsforschung, Bochum 2009. RUTENBERG, J. (2009): Schnipps! Was macht eine gute Idee aus, in: Zeit-Magazin, 2009, Nr. 23., S. 12. VON TCHIBO-IDEAS (2011): online: https://www.tchibo-ideas.de/index.php/loesungen/ansehen/ haushalt/detail/idee/id/5322, Stand: 09.09.2011, Abruf: 09.09.2011. WIRTSCHAFTSWOCHE ONLINE (2011): online: http://www.wiwo.de/unternehmen-maerkte/ grossartige-idee-der-woche-hunde-dating-224332/ 4.4.2011, Stand: 04.04.2011, Abruf: 09.08.2011. WORTSCHATZPORTAL DER UNIVERSITÄT LEIPZIG (2012), online: http://dict.uni-leipzig.de/cgibin/wort_www.exe?site=1&Wort=Idee&cs=, Abruf: 08.08.2012. ZERFASS, A. (2009): Kommunikation als konstitutives Element im Innovatinsmanagement, in: ZERFASS, A./MÖSLEIN, K. (Hrsg.), Kommunikation als Erfolgsfaktor im Innovationsmanagement: Strategien im Zeitalter der Open Innovation, Wiesbaden 2009.

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