Archive for June, 2011

Why didn’t I think of that?

Posted: June 21, 2011 in articles

beware of layering...

What is the one thing people say most often after they stumble across a great idea?

For instance, have you come across  Groupon yet? If not have a look at what they are doing as they have been the center of attention lately. I recently came across this innovative eventing idea recently called Pecha Kucha and look forward to attending one of their events this week alongside what seems like a bunch of others according to their facebook invite. On a recent fishing trip I was awed at a very vibrant bar in the middle of nowhere which was in essence a converted shipping container…

All great ideas!

And the one thing I hear from peoples mouths when discussing these ideas is…

‘It’s so simple… why didn’t I think of that!’

And its true isn’t. None of these ideas are overly complicated!  Yet we kick themselves for coming up with it in the first place…

But it’s the lines that follow that interest me.

Man, I had a similar idea!‘ or ‘I have this idea which has been on my mind…’

It seems we don’t have a shortage of ideas. It seems we have a shortage of execution on ideas. The frustration expressed in the ‘why didn’t I think about it‘ line seems to be more about a lack of execution than a lack of coming up with an idea itself!

Its not that these great ideas are simple, its that they are now out there! And as similar as they might be to ours, the fact is someone took the risk and we didn’t!

The problem seems to be something I could call ‘layering‘.

Beware of layering….

Ideas are simple, we have established that already. But what we tend to do is layer the idea with all sorts of complications around the probability that the idea will succeed.The running of future scenarios tends to keep us away from kicking off in the first place. (see trading metaphors article)

Perhaps we take simple ideas and make them complicated?

Perhaps those that execute on ideas keep reminding themselves to just keep it simple?

Or perhaps they just know they would rather execute even if they were to fail than be one of those who wishes….

wishes that they had ‘thought of the idea in the first place…’

I hope we will be talking about your idea around the fire sometime soon…


the needed burden

Posted: June 7, 2011 in articles

share the one thing...

If you are a communicator a brilliant book worth reading is Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley. I guess you would need to determine if you are in fact a communicator before you read the book so the question you would need to ask yourself is: do I speak to other people at all during the day? If the answer is yes, then read it.

During one of the chapters Andy refers to communicators needing to be burden bearers.  A burden, he explains, is what what shifts us away from simply conveying information to others. He says that others can tell if we are carrying a burden versus simply dispensing information. He challenges us further stating that when we communicate we need to know that one thing – the one idea, message, principle or truth that we had to deliver at all costs.  What is it that people have to know?  What do you feel compelled to share? It’s beyond information… it’s a burden.  A burden is what brings passion into a message enabling you to wrap up the hearers of your message and take them on a journey.

So imagine you were given a platform to speak to a crowd of people.  This will be your only opportunity, a never to be repeated experience. Imagine you arrived at the podium and had all ears on you. You’ve been given free reign to talk on anything you would like.

What would be the one thing you would communicate?  What would be your burden that you would share?

If, like me, you can’t answer that too clearly right now then perhaps the following questions will help you clarify what it is:

  • What change would you most like to see in the world?
  • What is the most significant way to live?
  • Where do you believe we as human beings can make the biggest difference?
  • What topics are you drawn to, be it on TV or in the media?
  • What life experiences have stuck fast in your memory banks?
  • What frustrates you most about the state of the world?
  • What inspires you?

The idea would be to look for a common thread. What seems to stick out as you answer the questions. What could that one thing be?

I believe – that as much as our platform in this blog was imaginary – that those of us who begin to own our burdens WILL be given the platform off which to share it.

The world needs more burdens.