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What is the Expiration Date on a Good Idea?

I recently began coaching a manager who told me “I have a million ideas a day.” My reply: “It doesn’t matters how many ideas you have, but how many good ideas you implement.” Success in the Knowledge Economy requires every Manager have:

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I recently began coaching a manager who told me “I have a million ideas a day.” My reply: “It doesn’t matters how many ideas you have, but how many good ideas you implement.” Success in the Knowledge Economy requires every Manager have:

  1. a constant flow of good ideas about how to improve themselves, the people they work with and their operation, and
  2. a high Speed of Implementation” – the ability to put a good idea into action ASAP after having it or hearing about it (taking someone else’s good idea and putting it in to action is absolutely okay – just give them credit for having it).

However, good Idea Generation and a high “Speed of Implementation” only work under the following conditions:

  1. You gotta have an Action Plan for Success! No Action Plan means no way you can know what ideas will or will not contribute to the Plan’s success.
  1. You gotta have an Idea List! Carry a notebook. Write down every idea you have or hear about that you believe will move your Plan towards success.
  1. You gotta Prioritize! Constantly prioritize your Idea List. Identify ideas you believe will generate the most success and implement them first.
  1. You gotta implement only Ideas that will move your Plan forward! Only implement those ideas you believe will move your Plan towards success. Eliminate ideas that will not contribute to your Plan’s success.
  1. You gotta ignore the Negativism! Every new idea will generate the “that will never work” response. Only pay attention to the opinions of a few trusted advisors who understand your Plan.
  1. You gotta have the Skill Set necessary to implement the idea! If you don’t have the required skill set, find someone who does and involve them in the implementation process.
  1. You gotta make Time! Once you have decided to implement an idea, give it the time, energy, and resources it needs to succeed. Commit to taking at least one Action Step each day to implement an idea.
  1. You gotta be willing to Fail! Don’t fall in love with an idea! Most ideas are better in theory then they are in reality. Accept this and “fail fast” by realizing when an idea is not going to produce the ROI on the time, energy and resources needed to make it work, then stop investing time, energy and resources, and move on to the next idea on your Idea List.
  1. You gotta stop being a Perfectionist! There is no “perfect idea.” Avoid the Analysis-Paralysis Trap by collecting only enough Facts to determine if the idea moves your Plan towards success – if it does, implement then improve the idea.

The Bottom Line: Good ideas have a limited shelf life – it may be a day, a week, a month or a year. But every day you do nothing to implement a good idea is one day closer to its expiration date!

Paul Glover Go to www.trainingeverydayleaders.com for more information about Idea Implementation in the Time of the WorkQuake™.