The brainstorm is the easy and fun part. The difficult part is keeping the excitement you felt at the end of the brainstorm alive as you put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard.
Like food pulled from the oven, ideas quickly loose their heat outside of the brainstorm, and you and your team will lose your interest. Turning your ideas into bullet points, paragraphs or summaries only compounds the problem more.
This last step – selling the ideas – is as important as the others, if not more so, simply because the idea needs to be sold to the client and implemented to generate its full value. If it’s poorly packaged, doesn’t connect to certain attributes, or beautifully developed but merchandised in a vacuum, then it’s as good as creating no ideas at all. In short, this step requires buy-in from the key decision makers and the people who are influential to them.
Don’t ruin your initial research and brainstorm steps with last-minute preparation or indifferent participation in the selling process. In the end, whether you like it or not, your company’s ability to conduct a brainstorm and sell its ideas to other is in direct proportion to the health of your company and its culture.
The overriding question of this last phase is: How can you package and deliver the ideas in order to ‘sell’ them to others?
- If you don’t know how to package the ideas, get someone with a visual ‘eye’ to help.
- If you don’t have confidence in your ideas at the brainstorm, re-group with your team to re-inspire.
- If you aren’t sure how to implement an idea, get advice from experts who have executed similar ideas.
- If you believe an idea is particularly risky, these experts can also help understand potential issues or problems.
- If you aren’t sure how to gain acceptance of your ideas, involve key people in the brainstorm, idea selection and packaging.
I finish with a quote that one of my earliest mentors taught me about selling ideas: I will take responsibility for the life of my ideas.