How can we make ideas happen?


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A handbook with 25 questions that help you make ideas happen.

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How can we make ideas happen?

  1. 1. How can we make ideas happen?
  2. 2. Question # 1 Are you doing things that fulfill your purpose?
  3. 3. Further inspiration
  4. 4. Question # 2 Are you doing what is important and urgent?
  5. 5. When is the urgency rate high enough? From what I have seen, the answer is when about 75% of a company’s management is honestly convinced that business as usual is totally unacceptable. Anything less can produce very serious problems later on in the process. John Kotter.
  6. 6. DelegateDeposit Not important Do nowSchedule in calendarImportant UrgentNot urgent Eisenhower matrix.
  7. 7. 20% of the results 80% of the results 80% of the time spent 20% of the time spent Pareto’s principle.
  8. 8. Question # 3 Are you setting goals and reaching them?
  9. 9. When you set goals, set goals that build on your strengths – skills that you already now master.
  10. 10. Not goals Change is happening Goals What do I doWhat don’t I do
  11. 11. Break goals into small, concrete steps.
  12. 12. Define a 100-day challenge.
  13. 13. Nadim Matta found that huge amounts of talent and resources in developing countries were being devoted to developing top- down solutions for agricultural productivity, clean water, maternal health, and other areas. So instead of experts and officials shaping solutions and giving them to the recipients, Nadim Matta worked with local leaders to challenge the ultimate recipients to come up with their own solutions in 100 days or less, and to use the experts, government officials, and aid workers as resources.
  14. 14. Question # 4 Are you sharing your goals with people you trust?
  15. 15. Adapted from Share your goals with people you trust / love. Ask them for support and encouragement when you need it.
  16. 16. Question # 5 Are you doing 1 thing at a time?
  17. 17. Focus on the 1 thing that will have the greatest impact. Sources
  18. 18. Be specific about what to do.
  19. 19. Question # 6 To what extent do you keep things simple?
  20. 20. Usability drives adoptability, and therefore it pays to keep things simple.
  21. 21. Question # 7 How can you demonstrate your idea?
  22. 22. When Gary Starkweather, the inventor of the Xerox 9700 high-speed laser printer that revolutionized the printing industry, demonstrated his prototype in a competition, he began to break through resistance to change.
  23. 23. In 2008, Colin Foster was able to overcome strong resistance at Novartis to employing social media to engage customers. The company’s lawyers and its top management opposed the use of social media because of their inability to control the content. Foster arranged a meeting with the company’s president, bringing along an expert from IBM to explain social media. At the start of the meeting Foster opened his computer and typed “Novartis” into a Twitter search, stating “We’ll get back to this later.” About an hour later, as the meeting was ending, Foster turned back to his computer. Over 600 tweets mentioning Novartis had been generated, all without any participation from the company. The president seemed to suddenly recognize that the company was going to be the subject of social media conversation regardless of what it did, and directed Foster to form a high-level team to examine how the company should use social media.
  24. 24. Question # 8 Are you trying out ideas at low costs?
  25. 25. Do cheap experiments
  26. 26. After demonstrating that his high-speed laser printer prototype outperformed alternatives, Gary Starkweather and his boss came up with the idea of grafting lasers onto older, excess inventory printers, turning them into working laser printers at minimal cost, and offering them for free to several good customers to test. The response to these first laser printers was overwhelmingly positive, spawning a multi-billion dollar business.
  27. 27. Build a just try it culture - emphasize ”test and learn” instead of ”plan and execute.” Hamel, Gary: The Future of Management, p. 120.
  28. 28. Question # 9 How can we quickly change the environment?
  29. 29. If there are no cookies in the house, we cannot eat cookies at 3 o’clock in the morning.
  30. 30. Question # 10 What can you do to become a a role model?
  31. 31.
  32. 32. Jack Welch: Role model management is – without question – the key to driving behaviours, minute 36.
  33. 33. One way we learn new ways of looking at things is to identify ourselves with a role model, boss, mentor, friend, or consultant, and begin to see things from that other person’s point of view. Schein, Edgar H.: Process Consultation, p. 105.
  34. 34. Further inspiration
  35. 35. Question # 11 What ideas are you funding?
  36. 36. Fund an idea and agree to fund it and back it through the development and deployment process.
  37. 37. Further inspiration
  38. 38. Question # 12 How do you use symbols to signal new era?
  39. 39.
  40. 40. Question # 13 How do we measure innovation?
  41. 41. Further inspiration
  42. 42. Question # 14 To what extent do you use social media to communicate continuously?
  43. 43. In more successful transformation efforts, executives use all existing communication channels to broadcast the vision. John Kotter.
  44. 44. Create a platform - physical or virtual - that allows supporters of your idea to connect and further disseminate your idea.
  45. 45. Sudden break with status quo. Large, radical change. Revolutionary change Continuous communication. Continuous improvement. Permanent learning. Small, step-by-step changes. Continuous change
  46. 46. Proactive change Reactive change Revolu- tionary change Conti- nuous change, p. 19.
  47. 47. In a blog posting or in a tweet, lay out your best plan and write “unless I hear differently by close of play tomorrow I will go ahead with this.”
  48. 48. Question # 15 To what extent do you give and receive feedback?
  49. 49. Further inspiration
  50. 50. Question # 16 How can we respond head-on to negative expressions?
  51. 51., location 1430. Negative expression The idea is interesting, but it is not the right time. We need to wait until…. Response The best time is almost always when you have people excited and committed to make something happen. And that’s now.
  52. 52. Adapted from, location 1530. Negative expression We don’t really have the skills to do this. Response We have much of what we need, and we can and will get the rest. Let’s go.
  53. 53., location 1200. Negative expression Your proposal doesn’t go nearly far enough. Response Maybe, but our idea will get us started moving in the right direction and will do so without further delay.
  54. 54. When you hear a negative statement, ask also: What makes you think that?
  55. 55. Further inspiration
  56. 56. Question # 17 How can you communicate passionately?
  57. 57. To get your ideas heard, be passionate, share your enthusiasm.
  58. 58. High energy Low energy Alert Excited Happy Nervous Stressed Sad Depressed Tired Calm Relaxed Satisfied Angry
  59. 59. Sources Gary Hamel
  60. 60. Further inspiration
  61. 61. Question # 18 How can you tell people what is in it for them?
  62. 62. Try leading the client toward your idea with a series of statements he/she agrees with - and then pitch your idea as if it's his / her idea.
  63. 63. Further inspiration
  64. 64. Question # 19 How can we get fresh inputs from outside?
  65. 65. When Jamie Oliver wanted to change the eating habits of kids at a U.S. school, he got their attention with a single, disgusting image: A truckload of pure animal fat. Example
  66. 66.
  67. 67. Rational input from outside Rational engagement focus Emotional input from outside Emotional engagement focus External Change Driver Internal Change Driver
  68. 68. Bring in fresh voices from outside.
  69. 69. At, there is a team that collaborates with outside startup companies to build prototypes. Sources
  70. 70. Only from outside can one be sure of disinterested criticism, astringent appraisal, the rude question. Only from outside can one expect judgments untainted by the loyalty and camaraderie of insiders, undistorted by the comfortable assumptions held within the walls. Gardner, John W.: On Leadership, p. 130.
  71. 71. Question # 20 How can you end each meeting with action steps?
  72. 72. When you do meet with clients or colleagues, end each meeting with a quick review of captured action steps. The exercise takes less than 30 seconds per person. Each person should share what they captured.
  73. 73. Further inspiration
  74. 74. Question # 21 What can we do to celebrate success?
  75. 75. Examples of ways to celebrate success experiences  Write tweets in which people are recognized for what they do.  Write a handwritten note to people who have done great.  Invite a person over for a cup of coffee. Adapted from
  76. 76. Celebrate successes using handwritten notes
  77. 77. Further inspiration
  78. 78. Question # 22 How can you find the courage to ask for forgiveness rather than for permission?
  79. 79. If you see an opportunity, go for it! Source Shona Brown, Google. Hamel, Gary: The Future of Management, p. 112.
  80. 80. What rules could we get rid of today that would increase our ability to create value?
  81. 81. Further inspiration
  82. 82. Question # 23 How can you get power to do things?
  83. 83. # 1 Who should recommend a course of action on a key decision? # 2 Who must agree to a recommendation before it can move forward? # 3 Who will perform the actions needed to implement the decision effectively? 3 questions page 232.
  84. 84. Make sure everyone knows which decisions and actions he or she is responsible for.
  85. 85. Bypassing the normal channels and empowering a smaller number of innovators is often a better way to kickstart innovation.
  86. 86. Question # 24 How can you avoid people who resist change?
  87. 87. The most frozen layer in any organization, I think, is the people with experience who think they know best, who believe that nothing can be changed. Ravi Kant
  88. 88. In any large organization you will inevitably meet individuals who love to hate. Confront your haters with facts if they are misinformed, but otherwise ignore them, as they are an endless drain on your energy.
  89. 89. Further inspiration
  90. 90. Question # 25 What can you do to work with people who want change?
  91. 91. Jamie Oliver sought out the most influential teachers – adults who already had the trust of the school children. Once they saw better health was possible, it became a genuine motivator.
  92. 92. When we started to connect with what we call the younger high performers - people in their late 20s and early 30s - it was very different. We would have breakfast meetings with a dozen of them, and we would invite them to give very, very frank views. We soon realized that they were suffocated and wanted change. So we we started picking out some of these individuals and giving them challenges. Ravi Kant
  93. 93. Girish Wagh was in his early 30s when he headed the Tata Nano Project.
  94. 94. Attitude 10: Very positive. 1: Very negative. Activity 10: Very active. 1: Very inactive. Competence 10: Very competent. 1: Not competent. Ms. X Mr. Y Mr. T
  95. 95. Surround yourself with people you want to be.
  96. 96. A robust support system will contain a mix of individuals who have the real power to help when you need it most and others who can lend perspective and remind you of the big picture when you inevitably lose your way. Examples  Friends.  Working partners you trust. Adapted from
  97. 97. John Kotter: People have got to want to do it
  98. 98.
  99. 99.
  100. 100. Thank you for your interest. For more inspiration and personalized services, please feel welcome to visit Have a great day.
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