One of my favorite pass times is to attend a “dream session” held by small business owners. I have attended such sessions in networking meetings were the agenda was changed and everyone was asked to name three things they would do to enhance their business if they had no limitations.
The last session I attended required each member to write down three things that were “out of their ordinary performance box”. After a few minutes of silence, everyone had a turn to stand and share their three ideas and also how the implementation of these ideas would benefit their businesses. The entire exercise took the entire meeting to complete with every member participating.
As each person stood and gave their name and profession, I wrote down their names and listed the three things they came up with that would change and benefit their businesses. For the most part their ideas were innovative and, in my mind, achievable.
By “pulling a few strings” I managed to be invited as the guest speaker to this same group three weeks later. I had a selfish reason for inviting myself, I wanted to know how they handled new ideas in their businesses. I was the guest speaker before their networking session started and secretly hoped they would let me finish my session even if I ran late.
I started my talk by saying that I wanted to conduct an experiment and hopefully teach them an important business lesson. The notes I took three weeks ago ( their dreams) were written on a 3 by 5 card along with the name of the person who shared them with the group. I pulled out the cards, called the name on the card and handed them their card with their ideas. I then gave them five minutes to review their dreams and to write on the reverse of the card, why or why not, were any of those three ideas implemented.
Yes, I had them stand up and share their reasons. I brought a flip chart for this occasion. I drew a line down the center of the page and labeled on column “why not”, and the other “why yes”.
Ideas flow easily but often hit a snag on the way to implementation. The “why not” column was filled and in this case, the “why yes” column remained empty. Key words that appeared most frequently were: thought better of it, fear of failure, too risky, don’t have the time, probably wouldn’t work, I have a tendency to procrastinate, takes too much money, needs more thought and I forgot about it.
The lesson was simple; I shared that three weeks ago they thought that these ideas would revolutionize their businesses, or at least make it better; and yet no one took action. Fear, and all the other reasons stated for a lack of action, originated in their own mind. In this group alone almost 100 good ideas were thrown away. My ending challenge was for them to take one idea and implement it and report the result back to the group in three weeks.
Innovation is the key to business growth; don’t throw your ideas away.
ALWAYS BEAR IN MIND THAT YOUR RESOLUTION TO SUCCEED IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ONE THING. Abraham Lincoln
Nick J. Petra CFP www.strategicduck.com don’t let fear keep you away from calling us to help implement your good ideas.
Make it a Successful today!