So, you’ve hatched an idea. That’s great! Now what do you do with it?
The challenge now is figuring out how to share that idea in an interesting, intriguing, or compelling way and start the process of achieving buy-in. To start, you have to get ultra-clear on precisely what problem you’re solving, what the impact will be, who will need to be consulted, and whether it’s an idea even worthy of being said out loud to begin with.
To sort, shape, and validate the idea, ask yourself (or your team) the following questions:
- Sort the idea by problem solved: What issue does this idea solve? What pain does it eliminate? Is it a total or partial solution? How do you know that this is a problem? Include the supporting the data, trend, or feedback that not only speaks to the existence of the problem but its magnitude.
- Shape: To shape your idea, examine how known culture, attitudes, resources, spending sensitivities, and anything particularly polarizing should be considered. What about external conditions, such as the economy, public perception, customer/market surveys, industry trends and so on? Will they have an impact? Make adjustments or shape your solution to account for (or acknowledge) these factors.
- Validate: Do you have a confidante or trusted adviser whom you can safely bounce ideas off of? Ideally, this is someone who isn’t directly affected by the proposed outcome but who has some understanding of the organization and purpose. Someone like this can be invaluable and, such these relationships really blossom when they’re reciprocal. Touch base with a trusted adviser to float your concept and get a gut reaction. Based on their feedback, decide if tweaks are needed, additional people should be pulled in, or if you’re good to go.
Disciplining yourself to take these three early steps for each idea you’re passionate about pursuing helps lay the foundation for success in the future.