Great ideas aren't great if nothing happens to them


Great ideas always seem to show up when you can't do anything about them (usually in the shower or in the car). They're never around when you're desperate for a good one. They're also the lifeblood of what you do.

If you have the kind of meeting where you start by reviewing what you said you'd do last time and realise that nothing much if anything has happened since then, here's a way you turn a great idea into a great reality.

  1. Save every idea you have. Anywhere you like as long as it's not in your head. Make sure you can find it easily.
  2. Decide what the first step is in making this a reality. Make it as small, discreet, explicit and as easy to get done as you can. If you're not going to do this right away then make sure you save this somewhere too.
  3. Get this small action done and check it off. This way you get to feel good about doing it and good about checking it off too.
  4. Decide what the next step is. Get that one done too.
  5. Rinse and repeat until you're done.

This might feel too "easy". You might think there's no way that you can use this framework to handle all the stuff you're trying to do. But complex problems don't need complex solutions.

If you've got whiteboards in your office full of ideas and projects that you wanted to get done two months ago and nothing's happened yet, why not try it out? Choose one idea, work out the smallest first step, and just do it. Then figure out the next bit and the one after that.

Ideas are fleeting, fragile, and precious. They're here one moment and gone the next. Catching them can be harder than herding cats.

Don't let them get away, and once you've got them make sure you do something with them.



Chris Beaumont