Tuesday, January 22, 2008

POTW: 7 Reasons No One Likes Your Ideas

I've been thinking a lot lately about the value of teaching, not preaching, whether you're evangelizing an idea, a cause, or a lesson. It's somewhat synonymous with the virtue of telling stories, of singing songs, of conversing and communicating (not speaking at or to) customers and markets. Thanks to Andy Hargadon for unearthing this week's post of the week that amplifies my thinking: 7 Reasons No One Likes Your Ideas, courtesy of Casual Fridays.

A few reasons ideas aren’t accepted:

1. You took a leap, but didn’t build a bridge.
2. Your idea had no tether.

3. You told a song.

4. You have no relational equity.

5. You tossed an egg instead of a bird.

6. Too many thorns around the rose.

7. You assumed you knew it all.
Read the entire (quick) post ... it's superb. And, embrace the tenets the next time you tender an idea.

Post-script (23 Mar 08): Casual Fridays reports back with an amplification of their previous post, this time addressing the obvious: Your ideas are bad. Here are five signs of a bad idea:

1) It puts you in the wrong batter’s box.
In baseball, unless you’re a switch hitter, batting from the other side of the plate greatly reduces your effectiveness. If your idea doesn’t line up with strengths, consider whether there’s a better solution on the right side of the plate. You’ll hit more homeruns by focusing on your strengths.

2) It’s pie in the sky.
Is your idea disconnected from reality? Does it actually solve a problem, or is it just cool? Form follows function. This doesn’t mean your idea can’t be cool. Great design is a must today, but if isn’t purposeful then it’s useless. Be careful. This is very subjective. What you think is ‘pie in the sky’ may be a great idea that simply has to be reconnected to reality.

3) You’re trading flies for frogs.
Is an army of frogs your solution to a plague of flies? Congratulations! You just traded one problem for another (possibly bigger problem). Does your idea create a bigger issue than it solves? Then it’s probably not a solution. It’s just another problem.

4) Imitation is the greatest form of flattening.
I’m not talking about flat hierarchy or “The World Is Flat” thinking. I’m talking about flat as in no peaks or valleys. As in a flatline on an EKG. Flat without anything to grip or hold onto. Want a flat company? Copy your competitor’s ideas. You’ll lose anything that makes you different from the competition. Your products become flat. Your marketing will be flat. And so will your sales.

5) You never wake up from the dream.
I love to dream BIG. But if you never wake up from the dream and make it a reality, what good is the idea? There is a difference between creativity and imagination. Execution. CREATIVITY = IMAGINATION + EXECUTION (C = I + E). In order to be creative, you have to CREATE something. Dreaming big only gets you halfway there. Don’t be afraid to go the rest of the way. Your idea might be great, but no one will know if it’s never created.

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