How to harness your big ideas, especially in a time of crisis

April 29, 2020
Written by
Isabelle Perreault
Founder and CEO

Which type of leader are you: a visionary or an operator?  Every business needs both as one cannot succeed without the other. Very few leaders are able to see the big picture and manage the details.  

 Visionaries are those that see “what could be” and come up with new ideas regularly.  As an entrepreneur and CEO, I put myself squarely in the visionary bucket as I’m constantly jotting down new product or service ideas, new ways of creating value for my own business and for others. I journal every morning as a way to channel that energy and document my thoughts.

Generally, this passion has served me well. However in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this “idea engine” can go into hyper drive.   Why? Because visionaries tend to see challenges as opportunities. Opportunities to create solutions, adapt and pivot into new drivers of value.

The challenge is this:  If a visionary jumps on every new idea without discipline, it can wear on the team, shift focus away from priorities and cause frustration because not all ideas can, nor should be acted upon immediately.

 

If you’re the visionary in your company, here are five strategies that have worked for me, which could be particularly relevant during this time.

  1. Resist the urge to communicate the idea to everyone, immediately. Communicate with one or two top advisors in the company, typically your COO. It will give you the satisfaction of verbalizing it without prompting action right away.  
  1. Sleep on it.  Context is everything. Tomorrow or the next day, the idea might not seem as ground breaking. This doesn’t apply to the small stuff, where the risk is minimal, such as an idea for a new marketing tactic. Rather, I’m referring to the BIG ideas that would take considerable time and effort to execute.  
  1. If the idea is still burning a hole in your psyche in the following days, gather your top advisors and apply a quick framework for evaluating how it ranks amongst     the other big ideas you’ve undoubtedly had this month and how it fits within the current business priorities. I am a big fan of quadrants which allow you to evaluate your ideas, in context of the others, on the axis of impact vs. effort.
  1. If the idea is worth pursuing, develop a high level road map that you can now share with the team. It must be clear where this initiative fits within the larger picture and how it will contribute to the goals in the current strategic plan.  
  1. Finally, it is highly recommended to set aside specific times throughout the year for structured visioning exercises to manage this process with a bit more rigor.

 

No progress is ever accomplished with status quo thinking. The ability to envision – e.g. conceiving of something in detail - is a massive competitive advantage. However, you can drive people nuts if you don’t harness your passion (or so I’m told). If you're an operator, send this blog to your partner in crime as a gentle nudge. You're welcome.

 

Browse more posts by category:

Download free resources:

Browse our library of free downloadable resources including valuable templates, tips and methodologies that you can put into action right away.

VIEW RESOURCES

Book a meeting

Ready to get started? Book a meeting with us to discuss your needs and we'll go from there. No pressure, no obligations.

book a meeting

Subscribe to get notified of the latest posts!

If you found value in our content, please share and subscribe to be notified of the latest posts.

subscribe for updates

Related posts

Vivamus nec magna dictum velit dapibus molestie. Integer congue rutrum ornare. Maecenas sit amet est tellus, eu consectetur diam.

The Best Time to Reboot Customer Loyalty is Now

Customers show their loyalty to brands with their spending power. Learn about the 3 steps to take to reboot your customer loyalty efforts.

Read More
Demystifying the Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Fantastic insight shared by Jennifer Batley on the latest Klipfolio podcast on the value of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a metric. In particular: --> Where it fits within your customer satisfaction toolbox as a whole --> Why the "total" score matters, but not as much as the upward or downward trend over time --> Why the timing of the question within the customer lifecycle is so important

Read More
How association and non-profit executives can position their organizations for success in a digital economy.

Many of Canada’s non-profit leaders and association executives are worried they are falling behind. While I do know that the successful integration of technology does require some specific knowledge and skillsets, at the end of the day I believe what really drives greater digital adoption is something most non-profit leaders have in their toolboxes already.

Read More
Digital Adoption – it's is not just for IT anymore.

We at Differly welcome the announcement of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program and we are proud to have been recognized as one of the program’s national Digital Advisors.

Read More
view all blog posts

Let us guide you through our proven road mapping process.  The risk of doing something almost always outweighs the risk of doing nothing!

Fusce vehicula, purus et tempor scelerisque, odio risus cursus dolor, quis placerat metus lacus sed tortor. Vivamus nec magna dictum velit dapibus molestie. Integer congue rutrum ornare. Maecenas sit amet est tellus, eu consectetur diam.

book a consultation with us

Differly is a digital transformation consultancy based in Ottawa, Canada. We are seasoned practitioners and strategists with a diverse background in strategic planning, digital strategy, data, IT services and marketing, customer engagement, and loyalty.