There is nothing more exciting than a great idea or a passionate person. They are both required fuel for growing organizations. New and valid ideas create a visual effect of what can be, and in turn they motivate everyone on the team to push forward towards a common goal. Passionate people help come up with the ideas and help in successful execution.
“Ideas with legs” are ideas that have a valid chance of materializing into a sound and successful business model. Each organization validates ideas differently based on the industry, but there are many common things to check for, such as customer demand (will customers really want it, or do we just think they will), potential market, sales/price models, competition, and what success needs to look like in order to justify moving forward. Just as important is the notion that we should put ideas to rest if/when they do not materialize so that we can turn our attention to the next project. Focusing on ideas without thinking ahead about their vailidity/success potential, or allowing an idea that was once valid to continue festering within the organization past its expiration date, are both fatal strategies. Not having a great idea is not a reason to focus on a bad one.
Passionate people are our future leaders. They are rare and more valuable because passion is something that has to be there, be found by them, or potentially influenced by others – it can rarely be taught. The level of passion and drive that a person has is a combination of what has happened in their previous life, their personality, what they believe is important, how much they care in general, and their desire to win. Passionate people are similar to valid/exciting ideas; the organization cannot grow without them. The organization’s largest return comes from spending the majority of time cultivating the passionate/future leaders of the organization, and a close second to that is spending the required time and energy to find new passionate team members to bring into the organization.
As we continuously assess our organizations, we must balance our attention between new/valid ideas and passionate people. And when there is not enough of one or the other, we should be concerned and focused on making changes.