We all have them. But only some of us make them a reality – and thereby change the world that much more. Here’s a look at how that could happen more often.
Who hasn’t at some point had what seems like a game changing idea? And what makes the difference between letting that idea go by or making it happen.
Last January while I was in Anaheim for a Special Event conference, I met hundreds of event professionals who have been busy turning grand ideas into reality and they offered insight into how they’ve made that happen. Many of them stressed that the first step is recognizing a need and then finding confidence to think you can solve it. It’s the risk takers who are the ones standing up on that stage. That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that even the most creative thinkers come up with a lot of concepts that don’t work.
A good idea offers a provocative, unexpected, and simple solution. For example, look at what ALS did last year with the ice bucket challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of ALS. This social media frenzy united individuals, groups, companies, politicians, presidents, celebrities and many more to take the challenge and raise awareness and funds for the disease. Something so simple became so relevant, so fast and spanned the generation gap to appeal to both young and old.
The AIDS foundation in North America is another perfect example of an idea that had people listening, learning and wanting to get involved. In 2006, businesses had contributed just $5 million to the global fund to fight AIDS, while countries had contributed more than $5 billion. Bono & Bobby Shrivers’ good idea’ (RED) was both innovative and simple. Create an organization that partners with iconic brands to fight AIDS. This idea generated $315 million.
While good ideas are often simple, implementing them is not. Navigating uncharted territory takes relentless determination, a team of passionate colleagues who truly believe in the idea’s potential and most importantly, a willingness to take risks.
As you ponder whether or not your ideas are worth pursuing, consider this:
Collaboration is key; establishing strong relationships is paramount and, perhaps the most important – don’t be daunted by the difficulties that inevitably arise. “If your building something where you have no challenges, “ it’s probably not that significant.”
As you decide whether your idea is worth pursuing, ask yourself these few questions:
What’s the best idea you’ve ever had?
What’s your icon of creativity?
What’s an idea you wish you’d had?
How do you test a good idea?
Janice Cardinale is an editor at large for Canadian Special Events and owner of The Idea Hunter. www.theideahunter.ca