Here’s how you can choose the best ideas from your team’s brainstorming on how to move forward during this pandemic. That’s what we’re going to cover today in this episode of  “Coffee with Jody. Hi, today, I’m going to share with you a story from a client’s brainstorming session. This is a representation of many of these sessions I’ve done with clients, and I’m going to use a particular client today to illustrate how their team came together and choose which ideas to focus on first, second and so on. 

In a brainstorming session, (we actually had two) we looked at what where the kinds of things that they wanted to get done in the business. Some of these things were putting in new systems, like a project management software, another one was an industry specific software that was going to help them to track leads and other aspects of the kinds of work that they do. 

We laid out all different ideas, some of them were clearly things that they’ve been wanting to do for a long time, just hadn’t gotten to, and now they have some time during this pandemic to be able to address those things. Others were, if we could do anything, what would it be? What do our clients need in order to be able to move forward? 

What does our industry need that we could provide? What could we pioneer? How do we pivot? Should we be looking at different business models?  They ran through the entire gamut of all of these ideas and had pages and pages and pages of ideas from the 10 people on their team. Now we’ve got all these ideas and they don’t know what to do with them. 

So I said, let me introduce you to a framework that I’ve used with other clients and learned from Kaihan Krippendorff author of the book The OutthinkerIn this is the framework along the X axis you have IMPACT, low impact to high impact. Along the Y access it’s EFFORT, is it easy to get done or hard to get done? We took each of the different ideas and we began mapping them out. 

If it’s low impact, but it’s easy, then you just go ahead and do it or skip it. If it’s easy and high impact, that’s tactical and you definitely want to do that. If it’s low impact and it’s a hard, difficult effort, we don’t do that. But up here where it’s high impact and the effort is hard; we might plot ideas here, here, here, and here, any number of places on the high impact and require more than a little effort quadrant of the graph and this is where innovation happens, breakthroughs, and actual business model changes because this is where you’re actually bringing something that others won’t do because it’s hard to do and they’re unwilling or there’s some barrier to entry if you will. This is real change in the business, a pivot. 

Now, this particular company was looking at a number of different things. Some of them, for instance, implementing Microsoft Office 365 and all of the different tools that they could use and migrating away from Dropbox or migrating away from Zoom, and they would say, well, it’s called a medium effort to get that done, but it’s going to make a big impact. 

It’s going to save us money and it’s going to have the team be in alignment, using the same tools, able to converse and to interact more quickly. Other ideas of marketing might’ve been fairly easy with high impact, like taking pictures of the work that they do and putting them down here in this quadrant. Generally, you get the idea. So what I recommend is for you go and you create a list of all of the different things that you need to get done, that you want to get done, that you’d love to get done and some wild, crazy ideas, and then plot them on here, and from there, assign them to people, either an individual, if it’s an individual type project or create a team. Now, I like to take the strengthsfinder grid of the team, and look for who would be the best person to do this based on execution strengths, influencing strengths, relationship building strengths, or strategic thinking strengths, and then create teams and, or the right person for that particular task.  This is the way that you can take all those great ideas, plot them out, and then identify the right people to work on them, put their names next to it, and then create a timeline and a timeframe for these to get done.  

As the leader of the business, it’s your job to remove the obstacles, to give people the tools and resources they need in order to be able to get these things done, but, let the team run with it!  

That’s it for today. If you got value from this session today of “Coffee with Jody”, then please like it, share it, subscribe, and I look forward to seeing you again real soon. 

Bye for now.  

About the author,

With 14 years of experience in working with small and medium sized businesses to help them grow, Doug is committed to seeing business owners thrive. Business coaching is what drives Doug.

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