Ideas Only Work If You Do


It should come as no surprise that having an idea is one thing, and actualizing that idea is entirely another. Take it from us; many are the things that serve to stand in the way of an idea coming to fruition, and what's more, these obstacles can be the difference between a truly game changing idea that comes to fruition, and one that never sees light outside your office walls. 

Ideas drive society forward. They are paramount to progress in art, in science, and in moral society, and that’s why we are pleased to share our foolproof plan for getting those ideas off the ground!

First, stand firmly behind your concept

As a general rule of thumb, the best way to help your idea take flight is by standing squarely behind it, and going at it with gusto. Consider what makes this idea worth pursuing. What will it accomplish for the betterment of the team or client? What problems does this idea solve or current gaps does it fill? Only once you can truly advocate for your idea can you fully master the art of selling that vision to motivate others to stand with you behind the cause. 

Second, blueprint your plan of action

Once you have fully wrapped your mind around the idea, you’ll be in good shape to start mapping out the steps required, including the often underthought middle parts of materializing a new idea -- the part where creative exploration gives way to the meticulous, the tedious, and the nitty gritty. It is in this lengthy, drawn out period of tireless work that most great ideas tragically fizzle. Scott Belsky, author of Making Ideas Happen and founder of online portfolio platform Behance, dubs this part of an endeavor the “project plateau.” For artistically-driven individuals, this plateau can be particularly painstaking because it is the time when creativity is at a standstill, and laborious task management is at an all-time high. As Belsky adds, “To escape this pain, we generate a new idea (and abandon the one we were working on). This process can easily repeat itself ad infinitum, without us ever finishing anything meaningful.”

Team STARMEN ardently believes that careful planning and strategic delegating can help your project avoid such a fate. By mapping out the forecast of a project, you’re allowing those involved to have a clear picture of present status and next steps, which leaves little room for doubt or lingering notions of “how will this all come together?” What’s more, when everyone on the team is weighted only with tasks they are truly competent and capable of fulfilling, they’ll be more likely to come through, leaving the team as a whole running efficiently, and the project progressing on schedule.

“All great inventions emerge from a long sequence of small sparks; the first idea often isn’t all that good, but thanks to collaboration it later sparks another idea, or it’s reinterpreted in an unexpected way. Collaboration brings small sparks together to generate breakthrough innovation.”
— Scott Belsky

Now that your vision is clarified, and a plan of action’s in place, it's time to get going! 

Third, be patient

With all of the moving pieces required to materialize your idea, it’s imperative to constantly circle back to that all-important first step. Remember why you embarked on this journey to begin with, and you’ll be much less likely to make decisions in haste or try to rush tedious parts of the process. However, there are a few steps you can take to alleviate any doubts that your venture is moving toward its target. When holding meetings with team members, be sure to commence with each person reviewing next steps for his or her respective responsibilities, as well as a brief synopsis of what each person is taking away from the meeting. This recap should be no more than 20 or 30 seconds per person, and can save immeasurable time down the road because it will confirm not only the overall productivity of your meetings (whether or not goals, feedback, and notes are being clearly communicated, for instance), but it also will help hold individual team members accountable for what they are working on.

Fourth, remain focused

This idea, with you at its helm, is premised on a single, solitary concept. Reduce cluttering that vision by remediating new ideas to the backburner. There may come a time and a place for new endeavors to roll out, and when that time comes, those new ideas will deserve the same undivided attention as the one presently before you. 

Another excellent way to remain aligned with your objectives? “Avoid a reactionary workflow,” Belsky iterates. In a typical workday, we’re inundated with messages -- from our social apps, text messages, array of email accounts, and instant messengers -- and that’s not even considering phone calls and interpersonal conversations. As such, we, as professionals, are suspended in a constant state of reaction, responding to these various entities with little time leftover for proactivity -- which is essential to moving whatever we’re working on forward. To counter this, schedule yourself time each day where you’re totally unplugged to incoming communication, and can focus on outgoing productivity. There is a time and a place for conversation and connectivity, but progress is what truly moves ideas from ethereal into the ether of reality.

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