Your ideas end up in one of two places. They either become reality—when you transfer them them to the field effectively—or they don’t.
The garbage bin is a healthy outcome. And priorities often dictate that ideas sit on the backburner. But how do you ensure that you don’t miss out on the good ones through neglect?
This series has covered a lot of ground. We’ve looked at Where your ideas come from and Where they go; When you have ideas and How you share them. Last up, we asked how well you act on your ideas. But our subject here—follow through—is where the rubber hits the road.
Remember our innovation life cycle:
Follow through simply means you’ve picked your best bets, tested them in the cold light of day and made a decision to invest or kill. If you’ve made this conscious decision, congratulations—you’ve followed through on the idea.
If you have a bunch of ideas floating around in the ether, that’s also good news—each one is an opportunity to make things better. You just need to avoid leaving diamonds in abeyance.
What stones have you left unturned?
Forget the ideas that you’ve transferred to the field for a moment. And disregard the ideas you’ve decided to kill off.
List any ideas that are awaiting your attention.
Strike out any obvious distractions, ideas without merit.
Place a check against any with apparent potential.
Place a question mark against those for which you question the merit.
Now schedule to go test the apparent potential and consult on the merits. A 5-minute conversation on each will improve your focus dramatically.
The final article in this series will examine ways you can build a better idea factory.