Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hothousing vs.Greenhousing

“A 2009 Question - Hothousing vs.Greenhousing,
what approach will you be taking to deliver the best results ...”

Hothousing is a competitive environment where ideas compete, are rapidly evaluated and dismissed; the winning idea is then implemented.

Greenhousing is a nurturing environment where ideas are focussed and invested in; ideas are protected and given time to mature before being evaluated and taken forwards to implementation.

In Hothousing there is a very real danger that potentially successful ideas can be killed before they have had an opportunity to develop and prove their worth. There is also a risk that the rapid timescales involved in Hothousing mean that the problem is never really understood (often the problem you start working on is not necessarily the one you end up having to solve). There is also the risk that the evaluation criteria may be based more on the strong personalities of team members in the winning team than on the proposed solution. Early commitment is made to a solution and a course is set that then becomes very difficult to change if the solution starts to look a little shaky.

In Greenhousing specific ideas are focussed on and nurtured; given time to develop and protected until their true value can be assessed. This means that the assessments are based more on the merits of the solution than on the team presenting it. Also, if there are flaws in the solution their is opportunity to identify and remedy before any final decision is made. This approach can be seen as more risky because it requires investment and comitment to specific ideas that may not work out; however the approach does offer a greater degree of success and a better end solution than Hothousing. If you take a medium to long-term view then this approach does offer a greater return for the commitment.
Source: Random Thoughts

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