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How ‘ideation’ becomes real

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Bill Glynn was palling around with his friend Dave when Dave pointed to a tree and called it a “leaner.”

Bill didn’t know what that meant, so Dave explained that it was likely to fall over and hit a house. He said the owner ought to be able to remove it and lower his insurance rate.

At Bill’s home later, Dave pointed at a Japanese maple and said it would cost $7,500 to replace.

That changed something in Bill’s perception. After that, he protected the maple. And he discovered there was no such thing as landscape insurance.

Result: Bill and Dave set out to become the Kelley Blue Book of installed landscaping and to create a whole industry of landscaping appraisals, insurance and warranties.

Bill, the financial expert, and Dave, the horticultural expert, devised a system for landscape valuation. They put it on paper. They researched the field, applied for a patent, allied themselves with industry associations and hung out a shingle.

They ran out of money six times. They persisted.

That’s “ideation.” And execution.

Bill notes how big ideas often happen when two worlds collide. He asks: “What’s your big idea?”

— Adapted from Left on Red: How to Ignite, Leverage, and Build Visionary Organizations, Bill Glynn, Wiley.

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