Ideas are key to innovation, as without an idea, there is no innovation! Obvious statement, I know! However, ideas only make an impact once they have been implemented and are being used. Over the past few years, I have learnt never to underestimate the journey from ideation to implementation.

I used to think that if you have an idea, surely everyone will be grateful for your brilliant creativity and you will be hearing cheers from the rafters! Sadly, this is rarely the case. Too many ideas are given up on because the implementation journey feels, and often is, too hard. So I want to focus on one aspect of the implementation journey, namely building support for an idea.

So why is implementation so hard? Can it be changed? The implementation journey will always be hard, as you are attempting to change the status quo. Changing the status quo is never easy as you trying to change what is accepted. However, the role of a Marketeer, “a person who sells goods or services in a market and who may need to initially create the need,” should be doing this everyday. What can we learn from how they do this?

Learn from the Marketeer!
Learn from the Marketeer!

Remember that the person who likes your idea most is usually you. Ideas are like babies, they are very precious and beautiful to the mother, and woe to you if you dare to say it is an “ugly” baby! In the same way, accept that others are not as immediately passionate about your idea; they are yet to be enlightened!

There are five Marketeer activities that can build support for your idea, and can increase the chances of your idea being implemented.

1. Grab The Attention
You need to market your idea and sell, sell, sell it. You need to attract attention and then keep it to ensure focus remains on your idea to give it the best chance of survival. Grab attention by demonstrating the problem your idea solves or the opportunity it exploits.

2. Don’t Throw Idea Hand Grenades
Do not treat your idea as an “idea hand grenade”. Never, ever just throw your idea unsolicited to another area and then walk away, expecting them to implement the idea. Why should they do it? Most people in an organisation are fully utilised and feel very busy. They really do not really have the space for “new ways”, and will not appreciate your idea. “Idea Hand Grenades” either blow up in your face or in somebody else’s; just don’t do it!

3. Build A Better Idea Together
You need the best idea, and do this, you need help. Never assume that you have the perfect idea in your hands or all the skills and contacts to make it happen. The more help you get from others, the stronger the support for the idea, as you have more “skin in the game”. More support will always help to weigh subjective decisions in your favour.

Get skin in the game!

4. Understand Where To Aim Your Idea
Your idea will not be relevant to everyone – accept it. You are not trying to convince everyone to buy in to your idea, you only need to convince the relevant groups. So where do those groups exist? Understand what segments exist and then target appropriately, using communication experts to help you do this if you need it.

5. Choose Your Bed Fellows Carefully
You know who has good standing and is well thought of in your organisaton. If you get them on your side, most of the argument is already won with others. However, if your strong supporters are not respected, you will have to battle hard to keep your idea alive. Choose wisely…

Putting these five activities of a Marketeer into practice will give an excellent chance of your idea becoming a reality. Mix them with a large amount of good fortune and you will see success!