Transforming Ideas Into Action and Results

Ever had the experience of synchronicity? It’s when you notice some coincidental events and you say to yourself “Whoa.” I had one the other day. In the morning, I saw an HBR blog about making ideas happen, and then later I saw a post about the 99% conference on the subject of making your ideas happen.

When I worked for the American Management Association several years ago, I proposed a new seminar on this very topic: How to turn your Brilliant Idea into action. It was shot down in the new ideas committee. Somewhat ironic, you might say.

I was really bummed about that rejection. I thought the seminar idea had real potential. Little did I know that the Great Recession was about to commence. Sometimes, in retrospect, you realize that an idea you are having is “ahead of its time.” Or maybe your idea was like the proverbial seed that fell on rocky ground where there was no soil for it to take root and grow.

So, let me propose this course again. What would it teach? Some of the themes of this course would be…

Goal setting – Success starts with a dream. What is your new idea? Can you get really specific about it? Visualize it. Draw a picture. Make a prototype. Why does it excite you?

Problem solving – What problems would your Big Idea solve? How do you know? How would it improve the world? Who would it help?

Creativity - If you are seeking the next Big Idea in your work or in your market, you need to develop your creative thinking skills and apply them.

Improvisation - Learning and applying principles of improvisation can support and facilitate your creativity.

Collaboration - Teaming up with others to brainstorm is a great way to test and develop ideas. You may recruit like-minded dreamers who share your passion for the Idea.

Diversity - Gathering a diverse group together for divergent thinking can provide the multiple perspectives needed for breakthroughs.

Feedback - Presenting your idea to a discerning audience will help give you a dose of realism. You may head back to the drawing board. But you may still be convinced you have a Brilliant Idea even after your audience gives it a thumbs down. Having a tough audience can actually stimulate renewed enthusiasm.

Strategy - How will you make this idea happen? What can you do to realize it? What obstacles will you face? What resources will you need? Who can help you?

Some years ago, when I was with a pharma-chem company, I helped to create just such an intervention, based on these very elements. It not only went well, it helped turn an organization around from the brink of elimination. I consider it one of my successes as an OD practitioner.

Anybody interested in this new course idea? Let’s collaborate. It could be the vehicle to your success.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Friday May 18, 2012


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