Big ideas are non-linear and hardly two-dimensional. They connect What You Know with What You Need To Know.
Big ideas connect your processes with everyone else’s processes. They elevate your mindset and perspective to 1080 degrees.
Big ideas catalyze you to think bigger. Are you up to the challenge?
Big ideas are not acquired in a vacuum. They are acquired from:
- what you read
- what you think
- where you work
- with whom you work
- where you live
- how you were educated to perceive problems
- what type of work you do today
- what issues and questions intrigue and challenge you
- what type of contributions you seek to create for tomorrow
Big ideas are best executed in a team-based environment. These ideas are best catalyzed by posing questions: to each other, to your professional discipline and to the currently functioning status quo.
Big ideas lead to personal and professional breakthrough. For you, for your team, for your company, for your clients’ organizations.
How do you acquire Big Ideas? Here are a few of my own best practices which I put into play each day.
Read more. Start your day by reading (and not reading email). Your daily target: read at least 5 business- and industry- related articles in credible magazines which reference original source material. The digital world news platforms make for an excellent start. You can sprinkle this reading throughout your daily activities. At first you may not know what to read and will feel this process is burdensome. However, after a few days, you will find yourself gravitating to specific topics in specific journals. Take note of your preferences. How do these topics assist you in creating value for your organization?
Analyze what you learn. At the end of each article you read, ask yourself: what is the Big Idea? What key insights did I receive from this article? How are these insights reflected in my job, my customer conversations, my discussions with colleagues, professional meetings I attend, current events? Create a file for your Big Ideas. Write them down throughout the day. What are the common themes you read about? Does what you learn catalyze how you deliver value to your organization?
Listen for the Voices of your insights. As you participate in conference calls, in-person meetings and online webinars you will start to hear the Voices of what you read about. Soon you will instinctively listen for these Voices. You will have that “Aha!” moment as you understand how Big Ideas are played out each day in the workplace and within your industry. Are your current insights relevant and valuable? Are there other aspects of topics that you need to learn more about? What are the Big Ideas – and big questions about your big ideas – which emerge after these meetings? How is your participation in these teams contributing to value creation for your company and your customers’ organizations?
Dig deeper so you can Connect the Dots. Big ideas are dynamic and actionable. What types of daily reading and daily conversations are needed to lead you towards “what’s next?” Target your learning so that you remain in touch with industry trends as you try to stay ahead of them. Listen to yourself in your daily meetings, in your interactions with team members and customers. How are your conversations changing? How much more are you participating, adding insight and asking engaging questions which invite collaboration? How do the contributions that you now bring to the business table grow your professional expertise and value as a thought leader for your team, for your company for your customers’ companies and for your industry?
At the end of every day, take 5-10 minutes to ponder the Big Ideas you have acquired. Big ideas catalyze your professional development. You will become an innovator, rather than an order-taker.
Go ahead. Start reading and thinking and discussing. Let me know what Big Ideas you discover today.
Babette N. Ten Haken builds innovative, productive and profitable teams focused on excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook on collaboration hacks, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.