What is implementation?
im·ple·men·ta·tion /impləmənˈtāSH(ə)n/ (noun)
the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution.
As a creative business owner who loves what you do, you are probably inundated with great ideas every day. You probably get them in the shower, as you’re driving, while you’re sweating on the treadmill. But how many of those great ideas do you put into action and see through to fruition?
That’s what I thought. I know, I know, it’s hard! You’re so busy running your business. It’s hard to find the time for something new. A new idea may require you to learn new skills to bring to fruition. It may involve getting help, spending money, investing time.
And new is scary. What if it doesn’t work out? How do you know if its the right idea at the right time?
Of course, there are no guarantees. But think about it. What if Steve Jobs had never moved forward on the iPod? What if Ford never invested in the assembly line? What if John Adams and Thomas Jefferson quit before writing the Declaration of Independence?
What world changing, business revolutionizing, life impacting idea have you set aside because you just don’t have time?
So, how do you, as a ridiculously busy entrepreneur make your ideas a reality?
“It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.”
Create the Structure for Implementation
If you are not implementing ideas, it is likely because you don’t have an existing system or structure for taking an idea, developing that idea into a plan of action and then implementing that plan. So the seed of the idea floats around for awhile but doesn’t find the fertile ground to settle into and begin to grow.
Put a few simple structures into place and your ideas will have a place to land:
- Have a notebook (online or a physical notebook) to record your ideas when they come to you.
- Schedule time in your week – every week – to explore and develop new ideas. Back in the day (they aren’t doing this anymore, I don’t think) Google used to allow their employees to take 20% of their time to work on ideas. You don’t need to spend 20% of your time – but set aside an hour or two every week. It’s the quality and consistency more than the quantity of time that’s important.
Implement One Idea at a Time
I recommend serial monogamy when it comes to projects – 1 project at a time! Too many projects means you won’t effectively deliver on any of them. So pick one idea and for all the rest, keep them in your idea notebook for the future.
So how do you decide which idea to pursue?
- Remember, you’re jotting down your ideas in your notebook – is there an idea you’ve written down more then once? Is there an idea that keeps popping up, over and over? That might be the first one to go with
- Maybe go through your list and pick the one that seems most exciting, most shiny to you.
- All your other ideas, go into the notebook for later. Keep writing them down – but don’t let them distract you.
Once you’ve picked your idea:
- Use the system from the One Page Business Plan, by James Horan to evaluate your idea – this will give you a really good sense about it’s viability.
You may discover from this process alone that your idea isn’t really going to work. That’s OK – it’s not wasted effort. Because you will have learned a lot – and you may find a way to pivot your idea or this may open up other ideas or clarify ideas you’ve already had. Just pick the next idea and move forward.
Put Your Idea into Action
Once you’ve made the decision that this idea is the one you’re going to move forward on, make a specific schedule in your week for when you will work on it. Get coaching and support and most importantly get into action.
- Use the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. methodology to develop the idea to an actionable plan
- Implement the plan!
Let me know how you do in the comments!