Idea Assessment

May 9, 2019

By Patrik Nilsson

When an idea has been shaped and molded, the idea needs to be screened before it is implemented. This screening, or idea assessment, can be carried out in many ways. In some industries, these assessments are made through rigorous processes and evaluation criteria. Such evaluation processes may include criteria such as return on investment, profitability, and market potential (Hart et al., 2003). In this course, the criteria used to screen the student’s ideas were reduced to originality, user-value, implementability, profitability, as well as an overall rating of the idea. The idea assessment can also be made with the use of intuition (Eling et al., 2014; Magnusson et al., 2014). Intuition-based assessments are generally used in smaller organizations with flatter hierarchy (Eling et al., 2014).

From my experience, the assessment process in small restaurants is highly intuitive. As pointed out in my previous blog post, small companies, for instance, restaurants and bars, can go from idea generation to implementation the very same day. Such rapid idea management may help the business to adapt to its market. This is not a foreign concept to marketing researchers. One concept that spring to mind is dynamic capabilities, researched by Teece et al. (1997) among others. Dynamic capabilities are, quote, “the firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments.”

In smaller restaurants and bars, each idea is assessed on a case-to-case basis and the criteria used for the assessment change in accordance with the idea. While hierarchies are prevalent in restaurant environments, experts tend to do the decision-making. The article by Magnusson et al. (2014) is especially relevant to this industry because an idea “crowdvoted” wherein the user (the restaurant guests) is part of the idea screening. The assessment is then made by users with different expert levels to provide additional insights which, in due course, increases quality and efficiency. An idea can be brought back to the drawing board in case it needs additional refinement.

During the last seminar, a thought-provoking idea was put forward – that within a flat organization with few employees, the intuitive assessment is not only made on a macro level, but rather on an individual personality level. Some individuals rely on numbers and facts when they make decisions, while some depend on intuition. Carl Jung alludes intuition as either introverted or extroverted in his works on the archetypes. Individuals with extroverted intuition have the ability to connect viewpoints from different fields that have nothing to do with each other – macro-level pattern-recognition. Individuals with introverted intuition, on the other hand, tend to be experts within a particular field where they are able to reduce vast amounts of, sometimes abstract, information through pattern-recognition. Ultimately, what might yield interesting viewpoint synergies and more complete idea assessments involve a combination of above-mentioned individuals, similar to what Magnusson et al. (2014) describe in their article on technically skilled users and technically naïve users.