Implementing a breakthrough idea can be the pinnacle of achievement, or the train wreck of the century.
You’ve explored and analyzed, checked the marketplace and competition, pulled ideas from other industries and thought way out of the box. Or perhaps a bolt of lightning struck you with a transcendent “Wow!” moment during your morning shower.
Either way, you have found and wrapped your head around the greatest concept since the internet.
You race to make your idea a reality, and you crash headlong into a wall of resistance. Staff members look at you with blank stares, or indifferent shrugs. Or you might find you’ve hit a hornet’s nest of vehement opposition and outrage. Instead of wildly enthusiastic participation, you’re swimming alone against a tsunami of negativity. The more you push, the harder the staff pushes back. You’re spending all your time and energy, as well as that of the staff, locked in deadly combat.
Or you launch your breakthrough idea, and… nothing. Customers yawn and glance right over it. You elaborate on the benefits and features, and why this is the best thing ever, and your hot prospect changes the subject.
Consider the unthinkable; your staff and customers just might be right. It is possible. Your brilliant idea might be redundant, or unnecessary, and just maybe not all you hoped it would be.
But sometimes, your breakthrough idea really is valid, and important, and the indifference or opposition is unwarranted. So how can you give your idea the best chance for a successful launch?
6 Tips for Implementing a Breakthrough Idea
- First, plan for opposition. The best lawyers can argue, and win, either side of a case. They anticipate opposition and have planned solid responses. Follow their example; don’t be caught short.
- Second, solicit input early in the process. Even though you have the perfect, fully formed concept, backtrack a bit. Engage your staff. You don’t have to divulge your secret formula, but ask them if the problem you’re solving really is a problem. You might find you’ve over designed a 747 jet, when a little red wagon would be equally functional. Or you might find a different way to explain or present your idea. A slight change in approach might be the key to implementation success.
- Third, do the same with your customers. Whether you’re serving internal or external customers, make sure the problem you see really is a problem, and your solution is on target.
- Fourth, don’t be stubborn; listen. Sort out valid considerations from those which are immaterial or inaccurate. Make the adjustments you need. Run the revised concept back through staff and customers. Give these stakeholders the opportunity to “buy in” to the idea. Give them a sense of ownership. Build enthusiasm in advance.
- Fifth, if possible, do a soft launch. Restaurants have “soft openings” to work out the details before their grand opening to the public. Roll your project out in phases. Or make your initial offer “for a limited time only,” or “an exclusive for our best customers.” It’s a lot easier to fine tune a project which is limited in scope.
- Sixth, share the glory. “Our idea” has a much greater chance for success than “That dumb idea.”‘
Successfully implementing a breakthrough idea requires a team. Transform doubters into supportive co-owners. Don’t jeopardize success. Set your strategy and make your ideas reality!