Effective Execution Fuels Growth

I’ve recently come up with a new quote, that, on the surface looks a bit obvious – but in reality packs a punch.  Today I’d like to unpack it a little.  

The most effective and consistent way to fuel growth is to identify then execute on your best ideas” – Nick Temple

Here’s a breakdown of what I mean.

Ideas are Fuel for Growth

That’s the outcome we’re looking for here – to grow & expand. Expand our business, expand our personal capacity to impact the world.  In this context, I specifically target growth to be business growth and personal growth, though the areas are intimately related.  

Being Effective – Consistently

Even more valuable than our energy, or even our time, is our attention.  Focus on the right things at the right time with sufficient energy, and you can move the world.  That’s why I like to talk about the 64/4 rule … which is the 80/20 rule (pareto principle) applied to itself. Simply … less than 5% the actions you take result in more than 50% of the outcomes achieved. That’s where we want to focus our attention and gain leverage – not just today for this project – but for everything we do.  Once we develop the habit of identifying those things that make a difference, and then spending focussed attention to execute in those areas, we begin to see the results add up.

Identify your Ideas

Identifying your ideas is really a three step process: 

First, we need to foster our creativity so we are actually having ideas. Note I didn’t say “good ideas” – we’re not filtering yet.  We’re just trusting ourselves to be creative.

Second, we need someplace to capture those ideas.  Whether it’s your “dream capture” notebook, phone, audio recorder or some other trusted system – get your ideas out of your head and someplace you can review them later.

Finally, we review the ideas on a regular basis, clarifying the ones that make sense, and letting the rest go. Just writing them down isn’t enough, you have to review them on a regular basis in order to truly identify what they are – and give yourself time to reflect.

Realize creativity is a skill that can be learned, and the more varied experiences we have, the more we allow ourselves to reflect on those experiences, the more ideas we’ll have.  We must learn to trust ourselves. There are many tools to foster having more and more ideas, I’ll be sharing a few of those in the future.

BEST ideas …

Of the ideas you’ve identified, which ones are the “best”? This is where “good” ideas come on – now we’re ready to filter. Certainly, we don’t want to spend our focused time and attention on everything … but neither do we want to be stalled, doing nothing, as that’s not very effective either.

Developing objective criteria you can use to make decisions on what to pursue is a crucial part of good decision making. For business product ideas, you’ll want to look at the 5 Checks – sanity (does it even make sense?), resources (do we have the time & money to make this happen?), technology (is the tech available?), marketplace (is there a demand?) and partner (who can we get to help?).

Other types of projects will have other criteria, but asking questions like this is always a good place to start. The initial goal is to eliminate projects that aren’t viable at the moment, so you can focus on those that are a good fit.

Cutting out the Unproductive

The root word of “decide” is -cide (a variant of “cis”) which comes from a Latin root which means to ‘cut’ or ‘kill.’ A decision  is a literally ‘cutting off’ of all possibilities except for one; if you are decisive you have ‘killed’ the other options – enabling a focus.

Execute

Now that you’ve narrowed down to just a few ideas, you’ll want to “ooch”  – find ways to tip your toe in the water, so to speak, and test out to find if your assumptions are correct.  Once there, commit – determine the objective, create a plan and get to work.

Though we’ve barely scratched the surface, things do have a little more depth. Take a look now:

“The most effective and consistent way to fuel growth is to identify then execute on your best ideas” – Nick Temple

Does the quote mean anything different to you? 

Through this process, you’ll have grown – your knowledge, your skills, your creativity, your objective thinking and, if it’s business, most probably your bottom line as well.

Suggested Reading 

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less – Richard Koch
https://amzn.to/2WYOMOf

Decisive – Chip Heath & Dan Heath
https://amzn.to/2TmzXaO

5 Checks of Working with a Marketing CTO – Nick Temple
https://amzn.to/2TpMeve