Often in business, the executive in charge will bless a proposed idea, but not go the next step to make sure that a thorough plan is in place for its execution. "Thorough" means not just that the steps for implementing the idea are outlined, but that the people involved in the execution have the skill set and knowledge to carry out their tasks.
A friend of mine was involved in implementing an idea -- starting a new department -- at his workplace. The department's success depended on finding and applying the right technology to do the job.
My friend joined the team with a great deal of enthusiasm. However, the manager in charge of the department made one crucial mistake: He placed a person with very little technical expertise in charge of the day-to-day operations and decision-making. This person was my friend's supervisor.
My friend and I had many conversations over the next several months in which he expressed his rising frustration with his supervisor. The company was preparing to make a very significant investment in the needed technology. And my friend had proposed a few programs that were much less expensive -- as well as much more effective -- than the ones the company was leaning toward.
He repeatedly discussed this with his supervisor, who either rejected his ideas or ignored them, primarily because he was not technically able to understand them. In the meantime, the company spent thousands of dollars on software that didn't do want it needed it to.
He eventually chose to leave the department, which has since been disbanded and had its duties absorbed by other departments. The executives in charge realized the supervisor had not been the wisest choice for the job and he was demoted.
The company has since adopted the software my friend originally proposed, and with much greater success, but not until after wasting a huge amount of money and time.
So the next time a wonderful idea lands on your desk, ask for a thorough implementation plan. Examine not just the costs, but the personnel chosen to carry it through. Then that great idea will remain just that -- a great idea for your company.