Don’t Let a Good Idea Die: How to generate and implement a good idea

Last week I read a blog post by Seth Godin, marketing guru, on good ideas and how to implement them successfully. It’s very short, so I’ll paste it below here and you can tell me what you think.

“That’s a good idea.”

“And then what happens?”

Repeat the second question 100 times. Because after every good idea, there are at least 100 steps of iteration, learning, adjustment, innovation and effort.

Starting with the wrong idea is a waste of energy and time.
But not committing to the 100 steps is a waste of a good idea.

We put a lot of pressure on the idea to be perfect because it distracts us from the reality that the hundred steps after the idea are going to make all the difference. Nearly every organization you can point to is built around an idea that wasn’t original or perfect.

The effort and investment and evolution made the difference.

We rarely ever know just how good an idea is until we’ve developed it to some extent (done several of the hundred steps Seth speaks of) and until it’s been put to the test. 

The secret to bringing a good idea to bear fruit is to have the ENTIRE team giving it their 100% support

And the secret to getting 100% buy-in is for the vision to be very very crystal clear to the entire team.

Everyone must be very clear on what that promise of success looks like, what it will bring and why it’s worth working towards. 

CEOs must make that vision clear and team members must ask if it’s not. 
So how do you stop a good idea from dying?

How to Generate and Implement a Good Idea

  1. Create the conditions for good ideas to form
    • If you’re meeting with your team, make sure that you have a big piece of paper available to write down ideas and plan.
    • Tell your team that there’s no such thing as a stupid idea—just an underdeveloped one. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts.
    • Be sure to record any good ideas in the minutes so that at the next meeting you can start where you left off.
  2. Take note of good ideas.
    • Gray matter is feeble; you have to write things down when they’re fresh because even if you think this is the best idea since sliced bread in a week or two you’ll forget.
    • Keep a notebook on you. Sometimes the best ideas come when you’re out and about.
  3. Let the idea breathe.
    • Even if this idea really is the best idea in the world give it some time to simmer before you go all gung-ho. But not too long as to loose passion.
  4. Develop the idea further
    • Don’t be afraid to let the idea transform and take a shape of its own. It won’t be perfect, but often a good idea was a mediocre one at best before it was built upon.
  5. Get clear on the vision.
    • Like I said, your team needs to know exactly why they should commit to the idea and what is in it for everyone.
  6. Implement an action plan and follow through on it.
    • What are those 100 or so steps you need to take? Jot them down.
    •  If you feel like there’s too many steps, bunch them together and create milestones.
    • Be sure the whole team knows the action plan and knows their part in bringing the idea to fruition.
    • You’ll also want to measure key performance indicators as you go along.

A note on patience.

It’s easy to get carried away. It’s easy to be so engulfed in the idea that when things don’t happen quickly you’re tempted to quit.

Know this: there will be road blocks, but it’s the journey that counts. The journey is the reward, so don’t try to rush through. Good things take time, and if you commit your idea will bear fruit.

What’s your big idea? And is it worth the steps?

It’s always good to hear others’ perspectives, and it’s always nice to hear that we’re not alone and that others are living a similar experience. I want to know what you’re living, what you’re feeling, and anything else you’re willing to share. I’m sure you also have some excellent ideas and coping mechanisms, and maybe a few good jokes worth sharing. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts so that I can share them with our practitioner community and we can all help each other out.