Keep Innovation Thriving

December 17, 2012

Think about all of the great ideas you’ve had in your life on which you never followed through. That movie script you never wrote? The Mexican/Chinese fusion restaurant you never opened? Maybe you even came up with an idea for a social media site that limited the number of characters an operator could use?

What stopped all of these great ideas from coming to fruition? It could be that someone you trusted told you that it was foolish to continue down that path, or maybe you didn’t have the finances or time to fund such a project.

If your business is having trouble transferring thought into reality, here are some tips that should help you design, budget and unleash your idea on the world:

· Remember there is strength in numbers. Get your entire staff involved. Even if you are looking for a new marketing idea, you may be surprised by the innovative notions that come out of your accounting department. Send an email to your entire staff, or ask those interested to join in a brainstorming meeting.

· Delegate, delegate, delegate. Ideas often die because the creator is unwilling to relinquish control. Let others help you by leveraging their strengths. You don’t need to project the budget, schedule the meetings and be the sole contact for the higher-ups in the company. Give your idea wings; don’t drag it down by overtaxing yourself.

· Don’t be afraid to be a wet blanket. Someone has to be critical. Often, when there is a great idea, no one wants to be the person to discuss what could cause the concept to fail, but that is a crucial part of planning. Armed with the knowledge of your idea’s shortcomings, you are better prepared to shore up any holes and fight naysayers in the later stages of development.

· Take the term “deadline” literally. You don’t want an idea to consume your work life, but don’t let your new project get sidelined by your everyday tasks. Establish goals and set aside enough time to ensure that you meet each of them. As the head of a project, you should also confirm that the rest of your staff is doing the same.