“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” –John Cage
Whether you’re a full-time employee or a contractor, being the idea person can garner you a lot more time and attention—whether it be with a boss or client. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that an individual who can truly capture someone’s attention with valuable ideas is respected. And while most people have ideas, some more outlandish than others, that’s not all it takes to become an idea person.
Here are five tips for coming up with good ideas and presenting them in just the right way to get someone’s attention.
1. Take Risks
“Risk-taking is the essence of innovation.” –Herman Kahn
To become the idea person you must take risks. Sharing your brilliant ideas with those that can do something about them is sometimes an intimidating and even frightening task. But if you’ve done your homework, and believe your idea can positively impact your client, colleague or organization, the risk is minimal compared to the potential reward.
2. Educate yourself
Once you’ve decided to become an idea person, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll begin coming up with ideas. But just wanting to come up with ideas isn’t always enough. You’ve got to educate yourself.
Read widely. Everything from academic journals to pop-culture magazines can expose you to fresh ideas that can positively impact your organization.
Attend conferences. This will expose you to hot topics and new trends. You may find that your greatest inspiration is in listening to others share their great ideas.
3. Listen and Observe
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus
We’ve all been in meetings with the self-proclaimed “idea person” who does all the talking and none of the listening. Inspiration often comes with the exchange of ideas, and that requires one to listen and observe. What are some issues that need special attention? Is there a current problem that needs a solution? What division needs the most help? You can’t come up with any answers until you’ve heard the questions. You can’t provide any solutions until you’ve seen the problems. And don’t be afraid of other idea people – they can be your greatest source of insight.
4. Identify idea-shapers, those who can help you tailor an idea for your organization
You may have an award-winning idea in your back pocket, but it does no good if not catered to your organization’s needs. In order to fine-tune even the best idea, you should look to idea-shapers within your network. Senior employees or strategic partners can often help you tailor your idea and your presentation of that idea to your client or boss.
5. Determine the best approach for “idea delivery”
Is your idea best in an email or memo, as a presentation in a lunch meeting or possibly a private meeting with your boss? The more you listen and observe, the better prepared you’ll be to give your idea the packaging it deserves.
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Even if one idea of every ten that you share produces positive results, you’re finding success. And that alone makes you a valuable asset.
Some of the Best Ideas Are Found in Books!
What if some of your best ideas included those that would make businesses profitable? We have 9 such ideas, and they can all be found in Allen Bostrom’s book, In the Black: Nine Principles to Make Your Business Profitable.
This book demonstrates how to increase a business’s profitability using improved accounting and business metrics – a must-have for organizations of any size. Written by president and CEO of Universal Accounting Center Allen Bostrom, this book also discusses the importance of increasing communication among the three major business functions: marketing, production and accounting. This book can help any small-business owner, especially those who specialize in financial services, bring greater success to their own businesses as well as those of their clients. This book will make an idea person out of you. Order now and you can begin applying tried and true principles of business profitability.