Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ideas without Implementation

As many of you know, my formula for innovation is a great idea + implementation = innovation, so what happens when you've been presented with many new ideas, let's say at a conference or webinar, but with no way to implement? You end up in a holding pattern or stuck on the tarmac  unable to take off,  as many of us who travel know, that's no fun! After lots of frustration, you reach your final destination but wonder about all of the time you lost along the way, and how close your were to running out of fuel...
So how do you arrive at implementation from an idea? The first part is about not only receiving the idea, but what that would look like in the reality of your organization. Do I have the resources, time, budget,  and buy in? Is this something my audience would appreciate or am I doing this because I can (bad idea)? Who am I aiming to please? Because if the answer there is just leadership or yourself, stop now! I say all of this not from my usual subway car but a comfy bed in a conference hotel where ideas fly throughout (most) sessions and the bright shiny things amaze us. What good is it to have (or steal) a bright shiny if it doesn't work?
Nail the idea folks down. Not literally of course, that would hurt. But ask, the HOW. How is very important in implementation, even more so than the why. We know why, because we thought it was a good idea, an would benefit our audience, right? But how did you implement it? What did your planning process look like (sometimes what just sneaks right in there)? How did you fight for the resources? How did you get buy in across the organization?
Everyone needs a flight plan, where the rubber meets the road, or should  I say wings meet the air? That plan begins with the idea and ends with an evaluation of whether or not the end result was worth it. Don't forget that step! It's not good enough to declare it a success because it's new, you have to assess the worth. This may take time, we don't want to throw away something until we've given it enough time for the journey. But at all costs, we want to avoid our new idea becoming "we've always done it that way".
I would love to hear from you any ideas that haven't yet taken flight, or some obstacles you've faced, but also tell me about your big wins in innovation and idea making!
I hope to see you in person or on a webinar soon, until then, I have to go pack for my flight today...

Sent from my iPhone.

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