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Why Ideas Don’t Get Executed

by | Process

Perhaps the biggest struggle for creative pros is gaining traction on ideas. The generation of a great idea is just a small precursor to the real work – the execution. There are any number of reasons that execution may prove challenging, from a lack of organization to fear of failure to  a lack of concrete objectives.

Charles Lee is the author of Good Idea, Now What?  We first met last summer at a conference where we were both speaking, and a few weeks ago we connected by phone to discuss why ideas simply don’t get executed. (Hear the entire conversation below.)

A few of the highlights from the conversation:

– One of the biggest reasons why ideas don’t get executed is because we don’t take the time to write them down and commit to acting on them. Sometimes when we talk about ideas with peers and friends, we create the false impression in our mind that we’re actually doing something about them when we’re not.

– Several years ago our productivity was bound by the constraints of technology. Today, some of the very technologies that were invented to make us more productive are the same things point to as distractions and limiting factors in our work. Seems there is something deeper and internally-sourced at work, and it’s independent of the external forces we sometimes point to as the source of procrastination and poor execution.

– Companies need to create a culture that allows for conversation about innovation, and promotes transparency in order to avoid the pitfalls of procrastination, fear, and lack of execution.

Listen to the conversation below, and let us know in the comments your thoughts about why ideas don’t get executed.

Conversation with Charles Lee:

Todd Henry

Todd Henry

Positioning himself as an “arms dealer for the creative revolution”, Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of five books (The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, The Motivation Code) which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.

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  1. Branden Barnett

    oh man… It’s so easy to forget that talking about making art isn’t the same as making art. It gives our brains the same cookie no matter if we’re actually doing or just thinking about doing. Breaking big, nebulous creative projects down into concrete actions usually keeps me on track. Great interview.

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