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Why (And How) to Develop Great Ideas

To help make an idea great, it has got to have a “why” attached to it (the justification) and a “how” to make it possible (the logistics).

Sometimes, when brainstorming, people become attached to certain ideas. Or maybe there is an idea they’ve brought in with them to the meeting. Or you’ll come across that “great idea” put upon the team by a company executive … who heard it from his nephew.

Though any of these may seem brilliant, until they are justified as both (a) supporting business strategy and (b) logistically practical, they can’t be considered viable.

To assist with this step during brainstorming sessions, I created a paper guide which allows participants to document to make sure they think through, and solve, both “why” and “how.”

You’ll also notice, at the bottom of the guide, I provide additional filters. In the case of the attached example we measure for ease, investment, and reach. (Insert your appropriate filtering questions there).

Why+How=Great Idea Guide [Word document, 46 KB].

It is a simple tool, but serves its purpose to ensure ideas are not just clever, but appropriate and feasible.

I invite you to give it a try. Let me know how it works for you.

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  1. Azadeh Yazdi
    Azadeh YazdiDecember 12,13

    This is a fun and easy to use tool. The best part is that it makes you stop for a moment and think about the practical aspects of whether a good idea can become an implemented idea. I will use this in some of my classes and see what happens (I’m an MBA student). Thanks!

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