Breaking barriers to big ideas
In all of my interviews with aspiring innovators, I encountered a surprising sentiment from a mid-level employee at a major tech company: "we can't go big." This statement left me dumbfounded. How could organizations teeming with resources, brilliant minds, and a culture that purportedly rewarded bold idea leaders have individuals who felt constrained and unable to pursue grand-scale innovation?
Upon further exploration, it became evident that the root cause lay not in workplace culture, but in a lack of essential skills necessary for idea development and effective presentation to executive-level leadership. The disconnect was clear: while these individuals felt hindered by an overarching cultural issue, there were others within the same companies who successfully championed and executed ambitious ideas.
The key revelation was that executives, responsible for driving company success in a rapidly changing marketplace, must navigate the delicate balance between driving progress and limiting risk. They are held to rigorous standards in assessing the costs versus benefits of funding decisions. As an aspiring "go big" idea leader, your role is to create clarity in presenting your ideas.
Creating clarity involves meticulously developing your idea and presenting it with the formality and supporting data required for a comprehensive evaluation. Executives, focused on innovation, must have a clear understanding of both the benefits and costs associated with your proposal. Without this clarity, resources may be allocated inefficiently, and valuable opportunities might slip away.
By seeking clarity, executives can align and evaluate new ideas with strategic objectives, assess their value proposition, analyze the market, evaluate risks, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress. Armed with this understanding, they make informed decisions that maximize the chances of success and drive innovation within the organization.
While workplace culture is undoubtedly important, it is not always the primary obstacle hindering big ideas. Instead, the development of essential skills and the creation of clarity in idea presentation are crucial. By recognizing the role and accountability of executives in making big ideas happen, aspiring innovators can bridge the gap and unlock the potential for large-scale innovation within their organizations. #innovation #leadership #bebold #gobigorgohome