A lot of us have great ideas. But how do you turn ideas into action?
Everyone on our team is extremely creative and buzzing with new ideas. It's easy to get excited about a new idea and just as easy to let it fade into oblivion. From a burst of creative energy to execution, there are a few steps along the way.
One of the ways to test the viability and longevity of a new idea is to put it through a creative brief process. Often, I ask a team member to draft a simple, one-page brief. This helps to clarify the idea for all parties involved, including the person who has the idea in the first place.
Step 1: Summary
The executive summary. This should be a short “elevator pitch” that describes what your idea is all about. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Explain it in basic, conversational terms.
Step 2: Purpose
Explain what problem this solves or why you think this is needed. Are you fixing a business problem that you’ve experienced? Have data to back it up? Is this an educated guess or leap of faith (which is ok)? Tell us why you want to do the thing you are proposing to do.
Step 3: Audience
Who is this idea for? Who will buy it, consume it, love it, or benefit from it? Tell us exactly who your audience is so we can understand and believe that there is a market for it or that there is an audience (even if it’s a small one or an audience of one) for this idea.
Step 4: Execution
Explain how you will get this done. What do you need? What are the specifics of how you will go about bringing this idea from dream to reality. Are you pitching this to investors for money? Do you need volunteers? Partners? Management buy-in? Tell us how you plan to take action and make this thing happen.
Step 5: Timeline
What do the first 30 days, 90 days or 12 months look like? What are the next actions? Let’s say you put this thing into motion tomorrow. What’s the timeline for the first milestone? And what is that first milestone? Oh and “we’ll see what happens” is a perfectly acceptable milestone as long as it’s intentional.
Step 6: Conclusion
What else do we need to know? Wrap it up with a closing summary or other selling points to get us (and you) inspired to take it seriously. Where do we go from here? Remember to keep this entire document to one page.
If you find that you have a lot of good ideas but have trouble executing them, try downloading this one-page creative brief templateto distill your idea into something real. I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful.