One of the positive ways I use social media is to review lots of pictures of kittens and puppies as a stress buster because they are so darn cute! Life is chaotic; therefore, I need puppy pictures!! Come on, admit it. You’ve gotten lost laughing at floppy ears and furry tails. Scrolling through the latest fluff balls, I got an idea about ideas: new ideas are like puppies!
Just how exactly did I come to this conclusion? Well, as a business consultant, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen business leaders chasing the latest, greatest shiny object. Today they are charging to the left, but tomorrow is another day. They abruptly halt and decide everyone should be running now to the right. It’s called a time trap, and it’s exhausting and demoralizing to your teams.
HR departments are notorious for pursing new ways of doing the same thing aka the flavor of the month when they can’t implement what they already have in place. Although there is nothing wrong with new ideas, you have to ensure you actually have the bandwidth to execute them. Thus, new ideas are like adorable puppies that make everyone “ooh” and “aahh.” Everyone wants to hold it and pet it, but not a single person wants to pick up its poop! New puppies are work!
I grew up with cats, and my husband wanted to get a dog for years. He’d pester and push me, but I knew the work required to raise a great dog. I just didn’t have the time because I was traveling too much, and it wouldn’t be fair to a new puppy to be left home alone too often. I warmed up to the idea but decided to wait until I could actually handle a puppy!
New ideas, policies or procedures are no different. They may seem awesome on the surface during a meeting but unless you ask critical questions, they will end up in the pound with all the other puppies whose owners couldn’t take care of them. Puppies need to go out to pee and poo, require walks and exercise, must be fed, require play time and will demand your attention and energy.
As a creative person, I love brainstorming sessions, especially in person because we can create something much better together by building off of one another. Yet, without boundaries, the time will be wasted, and the idea will forever be labeled “bad.” Here are some key questions that must be answered for any new endeavor, product, service, idea, process or procedure:
- Is it actually needed?
- Is it an improvement over the old way enough to justify the time, money and resources? Or is it just a different way?
- It is the right time? In the middle of a new acquisition may not be appropriate, and if you are short staffed, weighing them down with more work could be the straw that breaks their back.
- Who will own it? Do they realistically have room on their plate for it?
- Who is responsible for seeing that it crosses the finish line? Will they have the necessary authority to do what it takes to do so?
- What is required for it to be successful (resources, time, people or what I call RTP)?
My dog is turning 13 in a couple of weeks, and we are peas and carrots! I’m so glad I embarked on the journey of owning a dog, but I worked hard that first year to train him to be a well-behaved, happy boy. The work continues to keep him a well-adjusted, healthy dog, but I made the commitment.
I encourage you to look at your new ideas and creative approaches as brand new puppies and ask the above questions so that the poor little guy isn’t abandoned, or you all end up stepping in a big, pile of poop when it goes south!
As a consultant, I can help you enhance your creative sessions/meetings to make them productive and get the results you seek! I am also a great filter to bounce ideas off of and can help you with your next steps. Give me a call or drop me an Email: email@example.com
To learn more about time traps, RTP and how you can get more done in less time, get a copy of my booklet, Reach the Goal in Record Time.