Friday, October 23, 2015

What's The Big Idea?

I decided to approach a meeting recently in a new way. We had some topics to try to brainstorm around, and I had an inkling that the results would end up in some of the "usual suspects" of conclusions and actions, only to lead to the same results that caused us to need new ideas in the first place. What was the new way? Thinking big.

Before the meeting, I took the agenda and brainstormed myself five "big ideas" around each topic. The goal? To drive the conversation in a direction it would not have naturally flowed.

What's A Big Idea?

So what, exactly, am I referring to as a "big idea" and where do they come from? A big idea here implies something radical, something different than usual. In order to get some of these ideas, you have to free yourself of your normal constraints. Think to yourself, "given unlimited budget, what would we do?" or "how would I look to solve this problem if nobody had personal interests at stake?"

Do this a few times and you will realize that you shut down many of your own ideas before even truly considering them due to constraints in the organization or the environment. Seeking the big idea lets you think truly free from all of the constraints. If you determine the big idea is worth the effort, you can focus your energy on removing the constraints rather than spinning your wheels on sub-par plans.

What Do You Do With It?

Share it. The point of having a big idea is to be able to use it. But, if the idea is big enough, something prohibits you from implementing the idea. Constraints, culture or cash, something stands in the way. Those constraints have historically prevented you from even mentioning the idea. As you share the idea, though, it has the opportunity to grow.

For starters, those you share it with will help you vet the idea, making sure that you should pursue it. They might help you prove it worthless as well, or identify enough other constraints to make the idea impossible. But beyond that, once everyone agrees on the idea's value, they may be in a position to help eliminate the constraints. They might help improve the idea. They might have connections to further socialize or try to rally behind the idea. They will never be able to help, though, if they don't know the idea exists.

So What's Your Idea?

What's your big idea? What's the giant concept that could transform your business? Who will you share it with? If you don't know, you can always share it with me.

Have a great weekend and make something happen!

Image credit: HebiFot via Pixabay