When great ideas disappear without a trace



Innovation has a strong influence on economic growth and job creation.

The introduction of the concept of lost ideas opens new perspectives on the practice of innovation and contributes to the advancement of knowledge.

Nevertheless, until now, nobody has taken a serious interest in the economic impact of not following up on new ideas. Every year, many good ideas are abandoned because their creators don't know how to implement them into practice in the form of new products, processes or services, or are unable to do so as a result of unfavourable conditions. Larisa Shavinina, administrative science researcher at Université du Québec en Outaouais, decided to tackle our understanding of this phenomenon. Her research sought to introduce and explain the concept of "lost ideas" in economics, to estimate the economic potential of these losses in innovation and to make recommendations in order to better teach Quebecers how to protect, develop and implement their ideas into practice. Dr. Shavinina considers it essential to develop this field of practice in order to revitalize the world economy through innovation. She cites the example of Fred Smith, founder of FedEx. While attending Yale, he wrote a paper that explored the possibility of an overnight delivery service based on future developments in information and communication technology. Although his idea was not well received, he persisted. Today, FedEx is the largest express delivery company in the United States and has 290,000 employees.

Larisa Shavinina's work is the subject of an article published in The International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence and a chapter in the International Handbook of Innovation.