Stages in Processing New Ideas

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    • #2386

      Hello Everyone:

      I do agree that how an idea is brought forward is important if we are truly to be more objective in our deliberations along with a willingness to work together not from personal preferences but from research or best practice and for the overall good of the organization. I agree in this sense with Brian Lennon that there ought to be some process so we know that the idea is sound, it is based on more than just ‘opinion,’ and that putting a procedure or policy in place does not mean it has to be perfect.

      Society is in a tremendous state of change which some may term ‘chaos’ and the way most do business today, at least for me, is horrendously different. For example, the feedback we did get from one President regarding our CHART/OVERVIEW or TABLE regarding PROGRAM LEADING TO CERTIFICATION was appreciated. We were told “Short and Sweet” – “Few Words as Possible” – “Want to See this with FACULTY Programs Too.’ Most are busy and do not read lengthy items.

      The stages I am proposing are drawn from neuroscience and the latest research on how our brain processes new ideas: how an idea springs forth and is seeded for a period of time in order for group members to arrive at some insights before this idea is manifested and brought to fruition. I have applied this recent knowledge to the way we can work with ideas, allow time for input, re-creation, and the verification or final step but in the spirit that our work is never done in that it is ever-changing and dynamic. Not sure I would want to use the word FINAL but perhaps VERIFICATION in that our policy or procedures will need to change to fit the needs of our clientele. As you can see, I am speaking of the IDEAS and not the aftermath of getting items on site etc.


      1. PREPARATION PHASE – depends on the person or group or committee that has done its homework which might be based on background of the idea(s) within WGI; research, if any; best practice; good for the organization and why. The initiator brings attention, reasoning, and planning to gather information. Ideas do not stem from an intellectual vacuum so the person or group or Committee has done its work to bring credibility to the work.

      2. INCUBATION PHASE – offers time to ‘let the idea or ideas GO!.’ This may be referred to as a ‘gestation’ period. The brain is paying attention and will offer other possibilities to come to the fore. The length of time depends on the issue and the urgency of a situation brought to the board.

      3. INSIGHT/INPUT PHASE – The phase may be called Manifestation and/or Illumination since the passage of time invites board members to make corrections and/or suggestions to whatever has been placed on the table. It provides time for member to verify, cross-check, make inquiries to insure that as many facets as possible have been considered. These are all made known to the Committee or group or board member who proposed the idea initially.

      4. ADOPTION & VERIFICATION – The person or group who proposed the idea or policy has had the input, insights, and suggestions of board members or other with whom they consulted and can now present the proposed document for adoption to the Secretary who shall add the item to the agenda along with a resolution to move the policy forward. Board members have had the opportunity to use their thinking skills, check on the audience, and discover together ways to insure the program is welcomed by the clientele the organization serves.

      I do trust that Chicago shall offer a time to list the issues and/or new ideas that have already been placed on the table and of which some of us are unaware.

      See you soon,


    • #2392
      Brian Lennon

      Jean what you suggest is good but I believe we do need something very tangible so that we know exactly where a new idea is in our system. Someone suggests it, we tease it out, we refine it into a more concise form and approve it. We then present it to members and work on the feedback received to create a “final” document published as such on the website but revised annually. Your phases are there but more operationally defined.

    • #2777
      Nancy Herrick

      Stages are fine and could work well. Our problem with getting things published and accepted is not getting enough input and ideas at the input phase, it is getting them to the committee or group that is writing up the idea in the first place. Once hours of committed work have gone into writing policy or process, tearing it apart and changing every aspect of it at the input level is very discouraging to the ones who have spent time and effort to produce the document. Tweaking or adding considerations that had not been thought of initially is what is expected and welcomed. I am in favor of having members write their changes and present them for consideration at the input phase. Verbal suggestions and vetos at this input stage should be limited.

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