Managing the Idea Monkey - BusinessWeek
The Idea Monkey, or the Good Idea Fairy; this thing out there is definitely a thing of wonder, amusement, and even exasperation. A lot of the time, the effects of the Idea Monkey will be prefaced by the phrase "You know what would be a Good Idea..."
In point of fact, one of the running jokes in the Army is that when a Captain or higher utters those words you immediately make yourself small and pray that you aren't the one chosen to execute the steps that are the aftermath of that monkey. Hell, for a while my job basically was Monkey Clean-Up Duty, as witnessed by the job title: Division Special Projects Officer.
So what have a I learned from my experiences? Well, usually I was on the receiving end of the monkey, rather than holding on to his leash, but the rules are at the least similar. Since this is a blog on Leadership, the ideas expressed in the above article are still valid. And besides, not all results from the Monkey are bad ones. Sometimes they can really advance your teams goals.
So, how do I avoid rewriting the above article? I'm not sure I can. Take a look at it, and tell me what you think. And don't forget that the leader can often be one of the best and worst Idea Monkeys. Personally, I think number 8 is the best... because that monkey can leave a mess when you give him/her enough time to sling the results from their efforts (smelling of roses or not!).