12 thoughts on “Too many good ideas

  1. Waldo, I appreciate the comment, let me clarify. I am truly blessed with a great team, including great implementers. My point is that it takes a thousand times longer to implement a good idea than to develop the idea. I believe an organization’s greatest opportunity doesn’t lie in new ideas, but in execution.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with you Will. Execution is the hard and time-consuming part. These ideas would be so easy to implement if it weren’t for people (and vendor’s with poor architectures) – oops – did I say that?

  3. Lets face it, most of the time implentation is not as sexy as coming up with the novel idea to begin with. Some may also argue especially in large organizations implenters are not as highly rewarded as the persons with the “big idea” But, I have to agree with you, that I rate organizations on how well they execute.

  4. Your comment carries a big message, it can be interpreted by saying as comments in #2 or can be chicken & egg theory. IMO, new ideas are as much as important as execution. I have seen super smart team of people executing some ideas that did not fly.
    I gather from this comment that you recognize people are coming up with good ideas. You need to enable people to go for execution. Sometimes leaders are getting ideas but do not empower right people to execute. Let people take risk and let them learn from mistakes. As Tom Peters blog says “Reward excellent failure. Punish mediocre success.” Only then you will be surrounded by idea guys and execution guys.

  5. Coming up with ideas is easy. Picking one to implement is harder. Convincing people to work on it is harder still. Getting management to actually support the idea is the hardest of all.

    Often management asks for new ideas, people get excited, and nothing happens. This disenfranchises the staff.

    Other times, management gets excited, and says, “Do your other work first. If there’s spare time, work on this new idea.” Staff doesn’t do anything – there’s almost never spare time.

    I believe that the key to getting an idea implemented is a clear reason that matters to everyone involved. If it saves the company money, does that matter to the staff? If it makes the employees happier, does that matter to management?

  6. Pingback: The 4 Disciplines of Execution « Leadership and Management

  7. May not relate to your situation, though:
    Beware of the “we should” syndrome. If you find your manager/team meetings are filled with “we should (this) and we should (that)”, you need to stop them every time and make sure things are properly assigned and accountability is laid out.

    The assignment is the easy part. Changing a culture to be naturally “accountable” is the difficult challenge.

  8. Talent, tools, training, teamwork, and empowerment make great implementers. However, without a clear focus, even the greatest implementers will find it difficult to implement a good idea they just keep thrashing around. There will always be more good ideas then good implementers, remember just because you can does not mean you should.

    [Note from Will: these are words of wisdom from a great implementer.]

  9. Truly good ideas are not as rare as we would think in today’s environment. The developmental pace of technology today allows us to believe in the ability to realize our ideas. The complicated part is filtering the ideas down to the ones that match our long term objectives. Too many organizations execute the ideas that will meet the short term objectives, “let’s do this for now” or “our budget will allow that this year and then next year we can address this more seriously”. When will folks learn that if it doesn’t meet your objectives 100%, then don’t do it. Too many of us get caught up in the short term needs of our users. We certainly need to satisfy our users. However if you better anticipate your users needs, you will do a lot less rework and upgrading. This will allow your teams to better focus on the implementations that count. Truly Mr. Yetter is correct. “Just because you can does not always mean you should”

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