How many great ideas have you, members, or staff put forward that never went anywhere? You might not even be able to remember many of them. Unfortunately, during the constant hustle and bustle at most organizations, great ideas get lost in a kind of no man’s land, never to be heard of again.
Don’t let this be the case at your association. If you don’t already have one, you might consider establishing a standard process for tracking and vetting those great ideas that may come to your association from a variety of sources.
Recently, Fast Company writer Vivian Giang talked with leaders in a number of fields about how they keep track of their best ideas. Here’s a brief summary of some their strategies that might work for your association:
- Stay objective and get feedback. Not every idea is a good one (at least for now). It’s important to filter ideas and focus on the ones with the most potential. In that process, often two heads are better than one, so get input from others.
- Always have a notebook around. You never know when great ideas will come to you, so keep a notebook nearby for documenting them.
- Revisit ideas every month. Allocate time to review and discuss ideas on a regular basis.
- Be patient and persevere. Sometimes the best ideas take time to develop and nurture.
- Recruit other brains to expand your idea. Once you’ve documented your idea, share it with others and empower them to take the next steps to bring it to fruition.
- Test ideas and fail quickly. Once you have ideas, don’t wait too long to try them out. You’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t.
At a time when organizations are being challenged to innovate more often and more quickly, your association doesn’t want to lose sight of those great ideas that may come up in passing and be forgotten if you don’t develop a process for tracking and ultimately acting on them.