Ideas and Infrastructure – When They Roll Their Eyes, Roll Your Ideas

danieldigriz

ImageMost people think if you have a visionary idea and no business plan, corporate structure, financing, and talent pool, you’re an unrealistic dreamer destined to fail. Their focus is on respectability, not innovation. Then they’re surprised when an idea comes seemingly out of nowhere and rapidly constitutes the next big thing. But anyone who has ever founded or started something new knows that the idea is virtually the entire thing. Anyone can start yet another cupcake shop, but doing the unheard of is truly challenging.

If you have conceived the right idea, and you’re willing to focus most of your attention on the idea itself, even neglecting the infrastructure and not knowing where the cash will come from – to nurse it, experiment with it, test it, revise it, repackage it, refocus and retarget it, and keep doing that, using your lunch money when you have to – then the other things will come, because the market seeks the most efficient route to solving problems. When the idea is finally right, the money and infrastructure will fall into line, and people will line up to lend their talent, because it has already become the “inexplicable” new thing.

The only place this is not true is in traditional corporate life, where newness itself sinks most ideas before they can grow, especially when they come from the bottom up, and the investment in maturing and evolving new ideas is often sacrificed for short term rewards and on the altar of some Vice President’s ego. Ideas are not the same as decisions – they are supposed to be the precursors of decision making that builds or grows a company.

Traditional employment trains us to think that good ideas only come out of the apparatus and the apparatchiks of traditional corporations, when in fact most good ideas go there to die. The elephant graveyard of insights on how life could be more effective and more efficient is littered with the bones of people who brought those ideas up in company meetings, because they thought the infrastructure is what builds and grows a business.

Ideas actually create work – infrastructure properly goes to work for “the company” after the fact, once the ideas have really founded the business. That’s why we focus on equipping entrepreneurs, startups who need to scale, and established businesses with the infrastructure that lets them keep their focus on the ideas that found companies or create growth. Our genius is in making sure nothing interferes with your genius, because we’re dreamers too, and we think when you have a good idea, you should be able to roll with it.

Daniel is Chief Transformation Executive and a co-founder of Free Agent Source. His practice areas are organizational transformation, educational programs, and speaking talent. Daniel's ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, and Success Magazine. He is a storyteller who writes a Forbes column, hosts digital talk shows, and is a frequent presenter at thought leadership conferences.

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