As the saying goes, ideas are a dime a dozen. The secret to making great ideas come to life is identifying the ones which will get you closer to your ultimate goal.
We’ve all sat through those meetings where intentions are good, but the practical nature of what is being discussed is far from realistic.
But more often than not, it’s not the idea stage that is wrong it is the nature of the overall outcome that is unknown.
A tremendous amount of energy is expended on projects that have no opportunity for success, yet good-natured folks willingly beat their heads against the wall trying to get the infamous ball rolling.
What if, for a minute, all of the marketing projects that were handed to you by senior management or programming or influential donors, were automatically prioritized for you by an algorithm or other third party that did not have a vested interest in what you were doing? The only determining factor would be the direct net effect on the organization and how much closer you were to your eventual and ultimate goal.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Unfortunately the Marketing Effect app has yet to be created and politics and conflicting visions still rule the day.
We all have the same numbers of hours in the day and some work harder or more diligently or smarter than others. But you have to have vision for what you see as the eventual outcome and then align each of your steps towards maximizing your efforts instead of being caught in the minutiae.
Three Quick Tips to Keep in Mind
> It’s OK to Say No – Most senior leadership and program folks don’t know when to say “no.” Sometimes it is up to finance or marketing to speak up and say an idea or project is impractical. Don’t be Debbie Downer all the time, but if you truly believe return on investment is not worth it, then you must speak up.
> Get data to support you – Too many of us rely on our gut to tell us whether an idea will work or not. You know your business. You know your customer. But data pulls no punches. Remember that idea of having an app that will prioritize projects? Analytics from your website, email and social media can combine with your expected financial and participatory impacts to give you real support to lean in or lean back.
> Impossible vs. Impractical – There’s a real difference between impossible and impractical. As we know, virtually nothing is impossible. Sure, there is a matter of physics and the time and space continuum that limit us, but for the most part if you have your entire team behind a project, it will get accomplished. Think about the biggest, most important items on your calendar, they all do get accomplished. But perhaps, you’re spending too much time trying to realize the next big thing, when you don’t have the data or the buy-in from your team to support the cause.
It is at that stage where the impracticality comes into play. Sure if everyone grabs an oar you will row the boat ashore. However, if you aren’t pointed in the right direction and don’t have support from all levels, you’ll be left spinning in the water and eventually run out of energy.
Best of luck on the next big project meeting you have. Hopefully, you’ll have more than a few dimes to show for your efforts.