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Myth: Innovation ends with brainstorming

The truth: It takes years of effort and strategies to turn an innovative idea into reality.

We all know the legend of Archimedes and his moment of Eureka!

A flash of inspiration hit him one day as he was lounging in a bathtub that gave rise to the law of buoyancy, or "Archimedes' principle". Many believe that the process of innovation ends when you reach the Eureka moment.

But that's hardly the whole truth.

Ideation or Eureka is just the tip of the iceberg of "innovation". Under the charm of "Inspiration that arrives in a moment of blinding enlightenment"hides a flood of follow-up tasks that can take months and even years to take shape.

Taking Archimedes' example again, years passed before Syrakusia - the titanic ship that led him to brainstorm and the birth of the Law of Buoyancy - was built and its principle finally concretized. He had to take into account the mathematics of buoyancy, ship design, and seaworthiness. This is the unglamorous part of the Eureka legend that generations have conveniently overlooked.

And that is why many who are involved in the innovation process in companies still believe that all they need is this "Moment of inspiration"is and everything will follow as if by magic.

Companies enthusiastically set up brainstorming events in the hopes that it would bring them all the innovations they need. But the generation of ideas is usually not the stage on which companies struggle with innovations. The bottleneck comes later, further down in the innovation funnel.

As a result, companies should not only organize brainstorming events (which is undeniably a great source of brilliant ideas), but should also plan the later phases comprehensively and take precautionary measures to the fact that it can take years to see through the entire process of realizing an idea.