Where do you get your best ideas?

Before you say “The shower,” I should explain this a bit more. My question is really aimed at corporations and organizations.

Heather Hough, our Account Maestro, asked me a brilliant question the other day: “What are the three most important questions you ask someone looking to hire Brains on Fire?”

I do ask a lot of questions before we engage with any of our clients to create a community around their customer’s passion conversation in an effort to help us both decide if there is a fit and if we can add value. But I’ve never really sat down and prioritized my questions.

So…after thinking about it a bit, here’s the one that bubbles to the top: Does the CEO or President of your organization believe that the best ideas to generate growth are generated by employees and/or customers?

Companies have long been promoting the notion of innovation within, inviting ideas from every segment of their employee base. But why not take that a bit deeper and wider and create an environment that supports and encourages ideas from your customers and fans? I am not talking about focus groups here. Or social media exchanges. The only way to really encourage idea generation from your customers is to share knowledge, open the doors and create meaningful and rewarding two-way conversations and relationships. You have to be seriously willing – maybe “longing” is the the right word – to genuinely support and engage in your customers lives and passions. It takes more effort than running an “marketing” campaign, but the ROI, growth and ideas can be powerful.

Even “priceless.”

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