How to convert your ‘Big Idea’ into a Strategy?

How many times during your career you got this compliment? ‘That’s a brilliant idea’. And what happened after that? Nothing. Because most great ideas either stay in your brain or on your computer folder as these are not a priority or you alone don’t want to take the ownership or you don’t have the amount of courage, time and resources to bring them into reality.

Most entrepreneurs are not good at one of these two:

  1. Entrepreneurs are creative by nature. That’s why they are into business. So, they can drum up ideas all day long — but they aren’t good at converting the ideas into life. That’s similar to a surgeon who tries to operate on themselves — it’s hard to do.
  2. At the same time, entrepreneurs who are great at coming up with big ideas and have the discipline to formulate a strategy often find themselves overwhelmed by the details. Stuck in analysis paralysis, they get worried about taking the first perfect step, and then usually fail to do anything.

In a nutshell, they can’t execute or finish what they started on their own. All they need some external help where the innovative workforce comes in. Today’s fiercely competitive marketplace requires us all to either convert our own ideas — or be a part of converting someone else’s ideas — into a reality. If you are not participating in either of these activities, you must question your existence, what you are here for and your desire to be relevant in this age. Everyone must be a part of cultivating innovation. You must begin to accept that embracing the entrepreneurial attitude is a requirement to cultivate growth and opportunity for the organization you lead and serve.

As the saying goes, “If it were easy — everyone would do it”. Converting an idea into a reality is never an easy task. Giving ideas life is much like giving birth to a child. You must own the responsibility regardless of the circumstances. No one will ever understand your idea or the dynamics associated with it like you do. In this regard, you are on your own and the journey will require you to learn about yourself — more than anything else will in your career.

We see this all the time with companies based on great ideas that then did not remain innovative and/or competitive enough to sustain their market leadership positions. Let’s face it, Blockbuster should have thought of the ideas behind Netflix and Amazon — and made them a reality.

As you think about how you can begin to embrace the entrepreneurial behaviour, here are five steps you must actively apply — at all times — in order to convert ideas into reality:

1. Trust yourself

You can’t execute until you have faith in yourself to handle the consequences of your decisions. Any time you assume the responsibility to give something that had not existed before an opportunity to become a reality — you become accountable for your actions.

Accountability requires believing in yourself enough to be 100% dedicated to getting the work done. Most people fail to take an idea to fruition because the unexpected challenges become more than they think they can handle and thus they no longer want to be accountable. They lose the belief in themselves to see things through all the way to the end.

2. Embrace Risks

Risk becomes your best friend when you give birth to an idea. If you can accept this fact, you will approach the process with a lens that keeps your dreams and ambitions in perspective and on track. When things don’t go as planned along the way, stay focused on the mission at hand and do not allow disruption to set you backward. Risk is normal and steps #1 and #2 will keep you looking forward.

You often hear that “working hard” is an imperative to convert ideas into reality. But in fact, it is the most fundamental commitment one must make to assume any form of risk management. As such, you must find a way to make this level of commitment if you want to continue on the journey.

3. Sell Your Vision

Keep things simple whatever you do in life. Make it easy for external stakeholders to understand when you sell your ideas. What you are trying to accomplish will create engagement and increase your probability of expanding buy-in for your idea. This skill comes into play when selling to possible investors.

Converting your idea to a reality requires you to help others understand your vision. Selling vision is much like selling change. Clearly define your value proposition and how it can generate revenue. Selling lofty ideas without understanding how it will achieve financial results will never get you the right audience. The bottom line is what gets everyone’s attention (Watch: TV show “Shark Tank”).

4. Passion pays off

The pursuit of excellence requires you to unleash your passion. When you put your passion into everything you do, it gives you the power to become a potent pioneer. You will blaze paths few would go down, and see them all the way through to the end. Your passionate pursuit of converting your idea into a reality will open new doors to endless possibilities.

Your ability to remain passionate about what you stand for is the ultimate enabler for the success of your idea.

5. Build Momentum

Carefully identify all of your resources and build upon them via networking and sharing of resources to expand the opportunity for your ideas. Building momentum is critically important to convert your idea into a reality.

Stay focused, stick to your plan, eliminate distractions and neutralize the noise. Remember to manage your time wisely and never get overly excited about new opportunities that stem from your original idea. Step-back, don’t commit too quickly, and understand how the dots connect.

Building momentum has a lot to do with timing and the management and deployment of resources. Every resource counts. Know when and when not to use them so their value is optimally utilized at the right place and time.

Last Word

Every great strategy stands on the shoulders of a big idea. History is littered with once-extraordinary companies that became mediocre when their strategies drifted away from the big ideas that made them great, or when their once-big ideas lost their commercial punch.

Not every big idea will be as big and lasting as Walt Disney’s, but a strategy without a big idea is like a marriage without true love. Some companies are lucky enough to find true love that can last a lifetime, others may have to discover love several times. But without it, there’s nothing to build a strategy on. No amount of acquisitions, execution, dedication, motivation, or even innovation can compensate for having a strategy that lacks a truly novel, scalable idea.

Precisely, Big Ideas have, are and will remain to be the backbone of progress and prosperity of mankind — without which we would still be living in prehistoric times. No idea is too small, and all sorts of ideas have potential to change the world as we know it for the better.

Learn how sometimes smaller things in our lives make huge impact and you can take some learnings on a personal and professional level by following me on LinkedIn and on our official website. Also follow us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Muhammad Sajwani is the Founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Evolve HR which aims at transforming, enriching and evolving Human Capital of Pakistan. At Evolve HR, him and his team thrives in challenging assumptions that hinder organisational aspirations, by creating innovative solutions that yield maximum impact, scalability & benefit to a wider base of stakeholders. As a Business Coach and Organisational Consultant, Sajwani knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.

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C-Level HR, Transformation Leader, Board Advisor, Writer, Business Coach & Organisational Consultant

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Muhammad Sajwani

Muhammad Sajwani

C-Level HR, Transformation Leader, Board Advisor, Writer, Business Coach & Organisational Consultant

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