Have you purchased something recently that you love? A new car, motorbike, jacket, dress, timepiece? Have you changed into a new role, left your job or taken a break to learn something new? The excitement, the anticipation the joy and then…it’s back to normal. That shiny new thing just becomes a bit less shiny, till the next thing comes around.
But what about new ideas? New habits? New friends? New homes? New lover? A little bit more at stake, right?
Talking to ambitious and talented leaders, I’ve found that the desire to try out shiny new things is amplified. “Yes, let’s give that a go!”. “That’s a great idea, I want to try that too”. “I love it, but how about we tweak it and try it like this?”. [Draws a picture].
By discussing the possibilities and options, then timing and execution, ideas get turned into reality. Tested, prototyped and either relegated or pushed forward.
Give it a go. A try. See what happens.
Those of us more risk adverse may cringe at this way of leading or doing business, but unfortunately in a world that is constantly changing and evolving, new and innovative ways of thinking and doing things all must start with and idea and it’s either YOU that is going to kick it off, pick it up off someone else and run with it or, be the one who thinks it up and drops it.
It’s too hard, too big, I don’t know where to start, it’s a bit crazy – are almost always the thoughts that run through ones mind before they embark on exploring an idea.
I’m all too familiar with these feelings being an idea creator myself. Recently, I had a crazy idea for a new article and thought, “This is brilliant and so many people will enjoy learning and reading about this, but, it’s too big to do. I need help”.
So, I went and sought out help. Unfortunately, for me, the wrong way.
I contacted a connection on LinkedIn who, I honestly don’t remember how we knew each other or exactly when we hooked up on the professional network. I thought she would be perfect to collaborate with, as unlike me, she was interested and played in the space this article would be about – she ticked a lot of boxes that I could have filled but decided not to. How could a little message hurt? After all, collaboration is key, we all want to feel included and sought after.
One quick message later which briefly explained my idea and why I thought it would be great to collaborate, I got a message back saying, “Thanks, but this is not on my radar”.
Not expecting much more than this reply, I just took my ‘great idea’ and shelved it. No more action, no more exploration – zilch. It just sat on my shelf of ideas.
1 month later she had published an article which was exactly the idea I had shared.
To say I was surprised when I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed was an understatement. Finding the article, the title almost identical to what I had proposed was a real stab in the guts. I thought about it, between sips of my morning coffee but couldn’t be mad for long enough to do anything about it. Why? Because where I had just given up on the idea, she had taken it, worked it and delivered upon it. Accident or on purpose, the idea was out there in the world and even though I acted upon it (by sending an email to action), I didn’t actually DO anything about it. I shared it without first qualifying the person I am sharing it with. I didn’t have it worked to the point of getting other input to share, no IP was actually on paper. Just the idea.
Shiny new things, especially shiny new ideas are hot.
Too hot for some, and up for the grabbing by others who actually will do something with them.
I wanted to share this somewhat depressing tale of shiny ideas once had, and gone. I may serve as a reminder to you (and my future self), to not underestimate the power of ideas.
Your shiny ideas. Just waiting to be tried. Waiting to be built into something with substance and worth.
Share cautiously before you have the meat on the bones, talk about them with the right people who can make them happen but don’t feel too bad when you see them out there in the world when you didn’t do anything about them. Anything smart, that is…
Back to the drawing board.
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