Here's a question for you. As you are getting ready for the new year, your plans are set (or close to set) and you have your budget secured, how much and what kind of resources did you set aside for testing new ideas?
If the answer is none, you may want to rethink that. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got – until someone else does it better.
It can be scary to step off the ledge (metaphorically speaking). It can be horrifying to fail, but without it you can't grow. Not every step will meet success, but sometimes the learnings from a failure can be profoundly more fruitful than a win. On the flipside, you could hit a homerun.
The good news is that you can control the risk to some degree. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Carve out a percentage of your budget for testing and innovation
Invite your team and colleagues to spitball ideas on things you've never tried before
Take one of those ideas that align with one of your business strategies and do a trial
Take what you learned from the trial and apply it to what you are doing or what you want to do on a larger scale going forward
That was easy in 4 simple steps, wasn’t it? It might be a little trickier than that. Not everyone on your team or organization will view this trial with the same passion as you and could come with a boatload of challenges and reasons why to not do something. I encourage you to listen to those and take in valid points that you may not have considered. Their challenges may have merit, and you might have to course correct.
Don’t give up.
So, let’s back up to the spot between steps #2 and #3. Here's a few tips on how to get some buy in once you have an idea you want to put into action:
Be clear in what you are trying to accomplish.
Lay out the challenge you are striving to solve that aligns to your business goals
Clearly present your new idea for meeting that challenge
Identify the risks and rewards – show that you’ve thought these through and assessed that the rewards outweigh the risks, or that the potential risks are acceptable and why
Include the resources needed, such as human resource time, hard costs, technology, collateral, marketing, etc. – show that you’ve thought of all expenses and where/how these will get paid
Identify the results you are anticipating getting
Include the timeframe – when to launch, how long it will be in play, milestones expected along the way, and end point
By giving key stakeholders an opportunity to have a voice at this early stage can make a big impact on the success of the implementation and follow through of the idea
New ideas are scary for some people. Lead them to a place of understanding.
I think we have all heard of businesses that were giants, only to fall because they didn’t try something new (think of how VHS videos evolved to streaming on demand, and the businesses that didn’t move with it)
Set up check points.
You’ve identified milestones in your plan, so include planned communications with your stakeholders around those. This step is two-fold – it can alleviate anxiousness and build excitement
Ask for support and buy-in.
Your key stakeholders can make or break an idea. Get their buy in from the start and re-affirm it along the way. Help to build their excitement of what is unfolding and encourage them to take part where possible
Ok, now let’s go back to Step #3 and get that idea to market!
Good luck in the new year. I hope you meet all kinds of successes. I also hope that you learn from those failures – because really without those, how do we know how to do better?
Keep on being amazing,
(side note - the photos in this blog post are ones my hubby took while on an adventure near Moab, Utah)
Whether you are interested in learning more about how blue dragonfly can help your business, are interested in joining or learning more about Mastermind groups, would like to chat about a speaking engagement, or just want to meet with me, this is a great way to get started. https://www.bluedragonflystrategies.ca/contact
Cheers to the beginning of a great relationship.