Imagine you come up with the best idea ever. It sounds great in your head and when you tell your team about it. But, as you move forward implementing the new idea, you experience pushback from clients, your boss (or board), and even your own team members! What went wrong?
New ideas mean change and change is frightening for most people.
Implementing new ideas is a complex process since there are a lot of factors that are often overlooked.
Most leaders are unafraid of addressing the logistical side of new ideas (e.g., technology, budgets, systems, etc.).
But, they fear addressing the human side, which is required for any new idea to become successful.
Before launching your next great idea, review the critical 3 C’s: Commitment, Consciousness, and Communication. These are required for great ideas to be successful.
(Side note: to better understand your strengths and weaknesses as a leader with great ideas, use a qualified assessment and review your design and implementation style with a qualified executive coach. Seeing these results on paper in black and white will make the difference between success and failure.)
Successful “New Idea” Leaders Focus on the Critical 3 C’s
First C: Commitment aka Flavor of the Month.
Jonathan enjoyed creating new ideas on a consistent basis. The problem was, the team wasn’t doing the work to make them happen. When asked why, the team said, “What’s the use? Next week he’ll change whatever we did this week.”
Implementing new ideas for the sake of change has never worked. When you become bored or jump on the latest fad, you lose credibility and team productivity. Commitment and time are required for any new idea to become successful. Stick with a well-designed strategic plan. This requires you to work through the details and obstacles, instead of changing the goal. Get your team involved early in the design stage (yes, be open to their ideas). Successful “new idea” leaders also hold themselves and team members responsible for staying focused.
Second C: Consciousness…it’s not all about you.
Patricia, a new leader, wanted to make a big impact in her department. Her goal was to be promoted into her boss’s position when he left. The problem? She was not conscious (or mindful) of the impact her ideas had on others. She relied on her normal approach of pushing things through and coercing others to do things her way. As a result, when her boss left, Patricia was not considered a potential replacement.
As a leader, when you recommend new ideas they are often heard as a directive not open for discussion. Successful leaders are conscious of their approach when sharing their ideas. Your goal is to engage others in the potential outcome and address any critical details along the way. Remember, win-win-win outcomes take longer to design and execute. Yet, when done right, the process will save you a lot of time, money, and hurt feelings.
Third C: Communication requires listening, especially when you don’t want to hear what others are saying.
George had a lot of experience in the medical equipment industry. As a VP, his goal was to achieve the company’s annual goals as directed by the owners. George visited with each team and elicited their feedback for his ideas. But, he ignored incorporating their input into the strategic plan when he submitted it to the owners. Six months later he was fired. Why? He relied on his own POV, disregarded the team’s input, and focused solely on how his ideas should be implemented. This approach failed to create a realistic strategic process that the team could support.
Your ideas have been percolating in your head for a long time! When you share them with others, it’s usually the first time they’ve heard them. Engage others in conversations by asking “what if …?” Then, give them time to ask questions and think through your ideas. Remember, everyone wants to know “how they will benefit from your new ideas.” So, incorporate their ideas and feedback whenever possible. Avoid forcing your ideas on your team by relying on circular logic, outtalking, and dominating them. Otherwise, previous supporters of your ideas will sabotage you and your ideas in the future.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2020
Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly, It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.