Executing Ideas: Turning Great Thoughts into Reality (pt 2)

Executing Ideas Part 2This is Part 2 of a multi-part series. Click here for Part 1.

In Part One of Executing Ideas: Turning Great Thoughts into Reality, we ended by editing yourself down to one or two great thoughts to execute. Part 2 begins the process of evaluating the idea.

Reality Check

Before you start investing resources into executing ideas, determine whether or not your selected idea is realistic. Does your idea align with your company’s market position or does it take you in a whole different direction? Will any part of it violate your personal or your company’s value systems? So… what happens if you go down this path and fail? Maybe more importantly, what happens if you go down this path and succeed? Are you prepared for the changes it might bring to your life and your company?

The next part of a reality check, though, is the big one….

Consider Your Resources

What are the resources you have that might need to be used towards executing ideas? Here are some things to consider:

  • Time. What kind of time do you or your team member have to devote to executing ideas? What is your current workload? Will you be sacrificing client attention while you pull team member to work on it? Usually, time constraints can be accommodated with good planning and no urgent deadlines.
  • Money. Will the cost of executing the idea be less than the result will provide? Are you looking at the idea as a loss-leader, a marketing tool, or as something that gives back to your community, so a loss might not matter? Do you have the cash to invest, or will you take out a loan? In other words, how much risk are you willing to take?
  • People. Who is working on executing ideas? Are you? Is it your team? Do you need to hire? Fulltime? Parttime? What are the skill sets of those involved? Can you trust them to run with your idea or do you need to be involved throughout? Will the team members want to do it? Will it take anyone away from other important needs?
  • Space. Does this require a new office, conference room, a piece of land, or a new building? Do people need to gather in person or can they dial into conference calls? If you usually work from home, do you need more space to spread out plans or materials? Do you need to pay for storage space?
  • Tools. Are there special tools needed for executing ideas? Is there a new software program to buy and learn? Books to read first?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. Consider the effect on resources before you start executing ideas.

Testing Ideas

Before you go full blown into executing ideas, make sure to test them. Testing can take different forms, depending on what the idea is. But, the main point is to get it in front of potential customers – especially if it is costly to create. For example, do you need to physically build a prototype? Or, would a presentation or a sample of the product fly? Can you do A/B marketing testing? Would a focus group help? Do you know whether or not your existing customers would like it? If not, create a poll and ask them!

In Part 3 of Executing Ideas, we’ll talk more about bringing your great thoughts to fruition – in other words, actually executing ideas.

About Susan Fennema

Susan helps you gain control of your business through process development, organization, and structure of your business operations and projects. From developing processes to coaching project managers, she can help you get beyond the chaos.

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