Sometimes it’s because an idea that seemed conceptually brilliant has implementation flaws.
Often the problem is that companies invest in creative initiatives such as brainstorming meetings, idea management, idea campaigns, etc., but fall short at the stage of investing in the implementation of the ideas. most creative ideas that emerged in those meetings.
You may have experienced this yourself: a company invests in generating creative ideas involving highly paid managers and consultants.
A number of promising ideas emerge from those events. Sometimes business plans are even developed around those ideas, sometimes prototypes are even built. But somewhere between the identification of promising ideas and their implementation, the idea dies or rather is killed.
There are various reasons why creative ideas are killed, but most have to do with risk. The implementation of a new idea is perceived as risky and people in the company do not really want to take risks. For this reason, directly or indirectly, the idea is killed.
It is not necessary to clarify that investing in the generation of new ideas that will never be put into practice is a very expensive method of achieving absolutely nothing.
But this reluctance to implement new ideas does not only happen to companies, the same thing happens to people. Imagine for a moment that a young person wants to send his CV (or résumé) to apply for a job at a company like Levi Strauss & Co and it occurs to you to print his CV on a jean and send it to his potential employer.
Such a creative approach is sure to stand out from the rest and attract the attention of HR people. And it could result in a job interview, particularly if the company values creativity as Levi surely does.
But it could also happen that it was thrown away as ridiculous (I have no idea how the company would react in this case). In my experience, most people who have such creative ideas don’t want to take the chances of going ahead with it.
Such a waste of creative time, energy, and money benefits no one.
To help individuals and businesses plan and implement their creative ideas more efficiently, I have set out to analyze why ideas are not being implemented (both organizationally and individually) and have developed a Creative Ideas Implementation Plan.
Below I indicate where to download the models for the implementation plan and the corresponding cash flow.
Before implementing an idea it is necessary to describe it in detail.
Separately you should describe what makes that idea special, ie: What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? Once that’s done, ask yourself how you could take the USP a little further to make your idea even more special.
Benefits And Risks
The next step is to do a simple benefit versus risk analysis.
This may sound complicated but it is simply a matter of making a table with a column called “benefits” and another called “risks”. The benefits and risks are then listed in the appropriate column. If the risks are more than the benefits, it is necessary to rethink the idea and concentrate on achieving more benefits. Review your particular USP.
An obstacle is something that can stop, damage, or destroy your implementation before it is complete.
Early hurdles, such as getting approval from a very conservative client, a lack of budget, or risk-averse managers can kill a creative idea at this stage of implementation.
To prevent this from happening, you must list all possible obstacles (think now that it is more difficult to solve later) and how to overcome them. Being prepared to face obstacles not only makes it easier to overcome them but also positively impacts the people responsible for those obstacles, since most of them are caused by people.
The Human Factor
Speaking of people, make a list of the people (and the organizations and groups) that should be involved in the implementation. They could be colleagues who buy into the idea and make it easier to sell to upper management, or they could be the designers who will build the prototype to demonstrate their idea. A complex idea often requires many people to be involved.
It is possible that to implement your idea it is necessary to obtain authorization from one or more agencies. These authorizations could include the approval of other people in the company, licenses from official bodies (national or municipal), or certificates from professional bodies.
If your idea belongs to a new area, it is better to research government regulations first, you may be in for a surprise. For example in Belgium getting a license for a restaurant depends on whether or not they serve potatoes!
Capital And Cash Flow
Calculate the cost of implementing the idea and the likely profit. For most business ideas you will probably need to prepare a cash-flow sheet with costs and revenues over time.
If your cash flow can show that with minimal investment, you can have great profit potential, then it will be easier for you to sell the idea to the right people.
Even with the simplest ideas, you should draw up a list of milestones to achieve on the way to implementing your idea. For example, a new product idea might require a prototype, market research, product testing, and so on.
In addition, milestones can be good points to determine whether or not to continue with the idea or if it is better to consider modifying it.
The Escape Plan
Often when considering the implementation of a new idea, committees tend to water it down to make it less risky. Unfortunately, when risk is removed from an idea, creativity is often removed as well, turning a creative idea into a mediocre one.
A better approach is to go ahead with a risky but creative idea and have an Escape Plan.
For example, if the idea doesn’t meet a certain event in a pre-specified time frame, you can drop out.
Having a default Escape Plan reduces risk and ensures that you or the company will not continue to pour money into an idea that shows little chance of reaching its potential.
The Communications Plan
A Communications Plan helps clarify who should know about implementation, when, and how. It can also indicate who shouldn’t know about it, particularly in the early stages.
For example, if you are working on a very innovative idea, you may want to keep it secret for as long as possible to prevent your competitors from finding out. On the other hand, at some point, you will want to communicate it as soon as possible so that you are recognized as the innovator or the innovator behind the idea.
Even if you are implementing a personal idea, communicating it can help give you the confidence to complete your implementation. Also, discussing the idea with friends, family, and colleagues can give you valuable input and make the idea even more innovative.
The Action Plan
The last step of the implementation plan is the step-by-step action plan. It describes each step you need to take, how long each step will take, and what each step should accomplish. It will incorporate much of the above information.
In fact, gathering all that information first will help you develop a powerful action plan that increases the chances that your idea will be implemented effectively. And that is what makes a creative idea innovative.
One final comment: The Implementation Plan template is a new document, let’s say it is version 1.0. We would like feedback to improve it and make a 2.0 version that is even more useful.
Download Related Documents
.Implementation Plan of a creative idea (Word Document in English. To download, click with the right mouse button and select “Save target as” or “Save the file as”)
.Cash-flow spreadsheet (Excell spreadsheet in English. To download, click with the right mouse button and select “Save target as” or “Save the file as”)