Who is in charge of the idea?

Who is in charge of the idea?

Have you ever asked yourself who is in charge of the idea? Or, who has the final word on how an idea is going to be rolled out? Here are three options:

[ 1 ]  The one who is selling the idea?

[ 2 ]  The supervisor of the one who came up with the idea?

[ 3 ]  The one (group) who came up with the idea?


[ 1 ] The one selling the concept might adapt it to a second-grade solution to please the client, thereby ruining its stroke of genius.

[ 2a ] The supervisor without any expertise in the domain might not see the visionary potential of the flash of genius and misjudge it.

[ 2b ] The supervisor with expertise in the domain, who decides against the creative, might leave him irritated. If this happens several times, the creative will detach emotionally and feel indifferent about his job.

[ 3 ] In every game, it is the team that scores the most goals that wins. Similar with creativity. The one (group) with the most resounding idea empowers the company to move forward. A brilliant idea is a money-maker. It enables growth, wins clients, solves problems, makes life easier. A brilliant idea is king. But, if the one who had the epiphany is left out, she or he naturally feels betrayed or frustrated. It’s like celebrating a win in sports and not inviting the striker who scored the goal and made the win possible. Without the creative, there would be no growth, no money in the cash register, no smiling faces, no party, nothing to celebrate. Alexander Schill of Serviceplan Group says, “An original idea may be tweaked or enhanced by others later in the process, but the person (team) who came up with the original idea retains control and is the final decision maker.”

Creatives whose ideas are being downgraded or stolen are definitely not amused. They either fight for their rights, detach emotionally, or call it quits. An idea should be handled with care, and the inventor/s should retain control over the idea or be adequately compensated. 

Creatives strongly identify with their ideas. If their thoughts are appreciated, they feel valued too. But creatives whose ideas are not appreciated, or who continuously receive negative feedback, either start to doubt their talents or simply quit and move on. It’s exhausting to always swim against the current. In order to thrive, creatives need to feel appreciated for their work. (Who doesn’t?) In return for being trusted in their expertise and given control over their ideas, creatives accept their supervisor, because they feel someone is acting in their interest. They will be committed to deliver greatness, continue to identify strongly with their projects, and score highly in job satisfaction ratings. Creatives who retain control over the final outcome feel driven to keep on producing excellent ideas because they know this job offers the unique chance to realize their aspirations.

The lesson: “Respect intellectual ownership. Whoever comes up with an idea holds sovereignty over it.”



By Robert Gerlach, Creativity Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker

If you would like to dig deeper into the iQudo Creative Leadership Training email Robert at r{dot}gerlach{at}IQudo{dot}com

If you would like to dig deeper into creative thinking, have a look at Innovator’s High. This how-to guide helps you to build your creative muscle, foster an inspiring culture, and tap into idea euphoria.


Get Innovator’s High at Amazon.com // Amazon.de

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