The potential of any business can be calculated by its “Idea Formula,” namely:
The quantity of new ideas a business generates X its probability of successfully executing upon the best of them.
Let’s start with quantity – disregarding how good or bad an idea might be, the fact that a company culture is vibrant, accepting, creative, optimistic and ambitious enough to contemplate “new stuff” is one of the most powerful indicators of a future-focused, and thus high value, business.
Of course, the vast majority of these ideas – whether they be for new products, marketing campaigns, or revised pricing strategies, job descriptions or work processes – will after relatively quick review prove to be too risky, too costly, or in the cold light of morning just flat out not good, and thus deserving of quick discard.
This is fine, because more than a few of them will also reveal themselves to be of quality – possessing business promise and thus worthy of deeper investigation.
I wrote last week on a good shorthand to conduct this investigation and to move the most promising ideas forward, from the visualization to the “let’s go for it!” phase.
Which takes us to the 2nd half of the formula – execution.
Luckily for us, business history is enlivened with and defined by tales of entrepreneurial masters of great execution.
From Thomas Edison and his famous quip that what he really should be applauded for is the 10,000 ways he discovered to not invent the light bulb…
…to Steve Jobs’ maniacal talent for wringing from his people their absolute best work (even if it meant driving them to physical and mental exhaustion)…
…to closer to the modern day, when scores of direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies like Warby Parker, Casper, Dollar Shave Club, and The Honest Company have the ability to break down to the most minute detail all of the components of a product design, distribution and consumption life cycle…
…from these examples, we can quite easily see the firm connection between intense and engaged leadership and companies with strong execution capacity.
So, improving our company’s Idea Formula is simple – it starts with us business leaders leading and inspiring and encouraging more, better ideas from everyone in our organizations.
And if the ideas don’t appear, or if the ones that do just aren’t very good, then being humble and self-aware enough to outsource to the legions of able service providers of all types (i.e. marketing, product design, customer fulfillment, financial, etc.) to develop the new ideas for us.
With the ideas in hand, it comes down to execution, and here – perhaps more than anywhere else in our business – a little honesty goes a long way.
Maybe we can’t get things done.
For whatever reason – because we are too old, too young, too tired, too busy, too burned out, too whatever.
Then we need to get out of the way.
And find someone who can.
Or if we truly believe we’ve still got it, then let’s take our cue from the entrepreneurial masters.
And channel their work ethic, their mania, their attention to detail, their sense of cause and business purpose…
…and start executing upon our best business ideas with more speed and effectiveness than ever before.
Need Change in Your Business?
Feeling sales, pricing and margin pressure coming at you from all sides and not sure what to do?
Need new ideas and a burst of better execution to get your business unstuck?
If so, we should talk.
And we’ll reach out with our thoughts to help you.