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Decision Making: Rolling It Out

decision making innovation Oct 24, 2022

Even some of your team’s greatest innovative ideas can unfortunately fall flat and never reach the point of implementation. Ideas generated through brainstorming followed by engaging in expansive thinking finally become great ideas when they are seen to stand the test of scrutiny.

Jumping straight from idea to implementation is almost a sure bet to be a failure. On the other hand, connecting the dots and debating the potential benefits and challenges paves the way for teams to arrive at the best idea with the greatest potential for success.

These conversations take time and sometimes we are too ready to set our feet to action, yet the best decisions come from taking the time to decide together, gain support and ownership and test it out to see if in-fact the idea will achieve the results we expected

If you’ve worked your way through the innovation cycle and assessed that the idea is good, you can head into implementation with confidence. Let’s get to work and explore what will be important considerations as you put this idea you’ve vetted into action.

Putting it all Together

You’ve done so much preliminary work already and now you have finally reached the “easy” stage. The time spent cycling through innovation to decision making will speed up the implementation and better equip you and your team to handle potential challenges.

  • You have evidence
  • You’ve involved people along the way
  • You’re clear on outcomes
  • You’re ready to scale

You will still likely hit challenges as you roll something out, however, you have the history, the data and a process that you can reiterate if the unexpected threatens to derail the idea. 

Putting it into a Plan 

At this stage, implementation planning should be the easy part. You’ve done the experiment(s). You’ve assessed results and have as much clarity as possible for how to move from testing the idea to implementing the real thing. Timelines, activities and budget can be scaled based on your experiment(s).

Where the hiccup often comes in implementation is communication. So as you make your plans add in an extra dose of communication. Who needs to know what information and when do they need to know it? Write it down, map it out, and then add in more communication than you think you need. Lack of communication about what’s happening, what outcomes are important and what organizational behaviors are changing creates resistance or apathy; and that can easily derail innovation. 

Putting it in Play 

When you’ve put all that you’ve learned together and laid out your plan, you are ready to roll. You’ll want to consider your feedback loops and how you are collecting information along the way to know if it’s working and to identify obstacles early on before they derail the launch. 

"When looking to innovate-fail forward. Innovation can be a chaotic process, embrace it and learn from your failures." ~Luke Wester

Evidence may emerge that points to a new learning or a tweak to the idea. It’s tempting to say, “We’ve already decided that.” Innovation, though, says that we are always observing, revising decisions, introducing new sub-ideas, or open to adapting – without derailing the intent of the innovative decisions along the way. 

One of the secrets to this “innovation to decision making cycle” is iteration. You’re never truly “finished”, rather cycling through the process of assessing, ideating, debating, deciding and experimenting. Innovation is at its best when there’s iteration. What are your thoughts? What have you tried to make innovation an integral part of the DNA of your organization? What are your lessons learned?

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