5 Steps to Turn Your Idea into Implemented Reality

Jul 16, 2021
5 Steps to Turn Your Idea into Implemented Reality

One of the things I admire about visionaries is their willingness to put all ideas out there.   The good, the bad and the ugly.  They often float several ideas to those in their inner circle to help vet out those ideas.  It’s an iterative process.  You float a couple of ideas, you listen to those around you, and then you land on the vision.  It’s not always immediate – but generally speaking you know when you’ve landed on a winner. 

So now you’ve got this big idea.  You can see the future of your business.  It’s clear to you.  But you’ve got a few gaps to overcome before you can realize this vision. 

Your broader team isn’t there.  They don’t see it.  They aren’t believers … yet.

You don’t have a plan to get from here to there.  You haven’t connected the dots.

I’ve seen it before.  I’ve been the one connecting the dots.  I’ve been the storyteller.  Now let’s talk about the steps you can take to convert those skeptics into advocates, and gain traction to transform your business.   

Step 1 – Get Your Team Onboard 

Your vision isn’t going anywhere without the support of your team.  It would be great if they believed in your vision.  Imagine if they actually became raving fans of your vision and actually took an active role in shaping the thinking of others to support it.  

You have to understand where each person is coming from.  Why are they skeptical?  What experience do they have that prevents them from supporting you? 

I’ve always like the term “know your audience”.  That means that you have to customize your talking points based on the receiver of the message.  While it is important to have both heart and head messaging – you’ll want to know if this person is more of a heart or head decision maker.  Will you need facts and figures, research and statistics?  Or will it be more of a conversation regarding the impact on your workforce, your customers, your community?  You will want to be prepared with all of this – but each stakeholder will require a little more of one or the other. 

You will also want to balance what messaging you will deliver proactively, and what questions do you need to be prepared to answer. 

Communication is the key to winning over your stakeholders! Download my Free Guide to learn more about writing messaging to engage the hearts and minds of your stakeholders and move them to action. 

Step 2 – Design a Governance Structure/ Build a Project Team

Some people think a governance structure and project team are the same things.  They are not!  I’ve combined them here so that we can talk about and compare and contrast the difference.  One group provides direction and oversight to ensure the strategy is implemented and the benefits realized.   The other involves planning and activation.  I’ll let you guess which is which.

A governance structure is important to ensure that all of the right executives have input on the direction of the team, make decisions when barriers are identified, and maintain alignment as the work progresses.  The governance team must be aligned on all things related to budget, timelines, resources and outcomes – to name a few.  The governance team will typically remain connected virtually throughout the project, and will meet at an agreed upon frequency or at pre-defined milestones with representatives of the project team.

The project team does the work.  These individuals can be 100% committed to the project, or may support the project as a part of the day-to-day job.  This is typically a cross-functional team that is empowered by the governance team to develop a project plan, establish timelines, track the budget and execute the action items required to implement the work.  The project team will be given guardrails as to when they must bring decisions to the governance team for review – things like budget overages or slipping timelines. 

Step 3 – Create a Project Plan

How do you know if your project is progressing as planned?  How do you know if you are on schedule?   How do you know what workstreams are at risk?

A well drafted project plan will answer the who, what, when, and how of the project.  Some people use fancy (and expensive) programs to track projects.  It’s less about the tool, and more about having the right components in place that allow the project team and governance team to maintain forward momentum in an organized way and expose challenges that need to be addressed before they derail the project. 

With that being said – creating a project plan is a bit of a misnomer.  It’s also about working the project plan, following the project plan, updating the project plan and synthesizing progress of the project plan in to an executive summary for the governance team.  The project plan is a fluid, living document.  If you create a project plan and stick it in your document management system and the team never refers back to it again – the project, which is to implement YOUR big idea, is doomed to fail. 

Step 4 – Develop a Communication Plan 

We talked earlier about the importance of communication about getting your stakeholders onboard.  At this point, the project has been approved, you’ve got a governance board in place, a project team in place, they are working the project plan, and you are ready to think about implementation and how you communicate the coming change to your broader organization. 

First – refer back to the hearts and minds questions.  You likely don’t have the luxury to have all 1:1 conversations  at this point and you are looking at communicating to larger audiences.  

Your communication plan needs to be tailored based on how the change will impact people.  There will likely need to be some 1:1 communication, department communications and organization wide communications.  Some of these may be via email, some may be in person.  It all goes back to the impact.  The impact of the change will drive what, when, how and to who you communicate. 

Step 5 – Measure Your Success

You’ve followed steps 1-4 so surely you’ve change initiative has been successful.  Right?  How do you know? 

You have to ask.  You have to have clearly defined what success looks like, and then you have to establish measurements to determine if you met your critical success factors.  Is it employee experience?  Is it customer experience?  Is it transaction times?  Is it increased sales, decreased expenses? 

What gets measured gets done!  Determine in advance how you are going to measure success – and then frequently measure to make sure you’ve achieved and maintained the improvements you planned on.  And if you’re not – get in to it! 

At this point I hope your thinking “this is great”.  You understand WHY it’s important – it’s your big idea on the line.  And you appreciate WHAT is needed to achieve success.  But the details can be overwhelming.  So you may be asking yourself – HOW?

Don’t worry.  I get it and I am here to help you get your team moving in the right direction to make your idea a reality. 

In my next 4 blogs, I will give you some quick wins for steps 2-5.  Step 1 is covered in my free guide – download it now!  My free tool will help with your first big step which is to get your senior team and your organization on board with the change you see.  Get this tool so that you can avoid that frustrating “flavor of the month” complaint and passive aggressive resistance that take the winds out of your creative sails.     

If you can’t wait and you’re already ready to get started – let’s jump on a call. Click here to schedule a free strategy session so that we can create a customized plan to move your idea to implemented reality.

Let’s do this!

About Me:  I'm Heather Havey and my consulting business helps leaders bring their big ideas to implemented reality.   I’m passionate about efficiency and business transformation, and I will empower you to accelerate the achievement of your big goals.   I offer customized, no-nonsense, real-world solutions designed to position you as the hero in the reinvention of your business.    

Check out options for how we may be able to work together at https://www.heatherhaveyconsulting.com/services .  

And if you think you could benefit from having an expert partner with real-world, action-oriented change solutions that will absolutely work, let’s chat.  In your free strategy session we’ll get those ideas out of the clouds and onto the road to results.  Schedule a complimentary strategy session to talk about bringing your vision to life.


Want to stay in touch by receiving tips, tools and updates directly to your inbox?

Sign up below to join my community!

As a bonus you’ll receive my free guide 20 Power Questions That Create a Compelling Story to Engage the Hearts and Minds of Your Organization. With this tool you’ll gain the confidence to communicate in a way that shapes thinking and converts skeptics in to supporters.