6 Tips for Taking your Ideas to Execution

by Mar 4, 2015

You have heard the saying: "Ideas without Execution are just Dreams". We all have lots of dreams - the challenge is how to make these dreams real and deliver value.
Here are six tips on taking ideas from a "dream" to execution, delivering significant impact:
  1. Ensure you have a range of diverse ideas from a diverse group of employees, partners and customers. Ideas form the same group of people will - you guessed it - come up with the same outcomes. Diversity in the formulation of ideas is key to success. How do you capture these ideas? Simple. Use an ideation platform. You might think that you can capture the ideas in Excel or Word...forget it. Capturing ideas works when it is fun, when it is like social media, and when everyone can see the ideas posted and comment on them.
  2. When you filter the ideas, use a combination of the "crowd" and a committee. An ideation platform gives you immediate access to the crowd - they will vote on which ideas they feel are the best. Setting up a committee which scores each ideas is easy as well. The value of having two sets of scoring is that you have the unbiased crowd, coupled with the somewhat biased but more influential committee - the combination of both delivers value. Those ideas liked by both the crowd and the committee deserve to go onto the next stage. Those ideas disliked by both - park for now. And those ideas that are liked by one of the crowd and the committee, but not by both, well, these need more investigation
  3. Ensure there are sufficient funds and resources to incubate ideas. If there are no resources to incubate ideas, they will get stuck at this level. Ideas need resources in the form of funds and/or people to be properly incubated. Determine where these resources will come from before collecting the ideas. Otherwise ideas, once filtered, will languish.
  4. Develop hypotheses on how and when ideas should proceed to the next stage - don't just leave it to the whim of a few. When will ideas be incubated? When will the move from incubation to acceleration? What are the criteria? If you develop these hypotheses before running a campaign, you will have a much better chance of success than trying to decide after the ideas have been collected.
  5. Its all about delivering value to the business - don't get caught up with vanity metrics. We see it all the time. Vanity metrics such as: "Look at the large number of ideas in the pipeline!", or "Hundreds of people are putting ideas into the ideation platform". While these vanity metrics are good, the key are the "impact metrics" - what is the tangible realisable benefit to the business of an idea-to-execution strategy?
  6. Communicate, communicate and communicate. A key element to successfully taking ideas to execution is a well-structured communication strategy. Plan to over-communicate - it will never hurt. Communication is vital all along the process, otherwise people lose faith and give up - and tell ten others along the way. Communication is needed: when ideas are received, while they are being filtered, after they have been filtered, when they are in incubation, when they leave incubation, when they move to acceleration, and when they deliver impact.

Six simple rules. But necessary conditions for taking successfully taking ideas from dream state to execution.

We've created these steps as an infographic for you to print and share - view it here

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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