An Employee Workshop for Aspiring Experts

Unconventional Workshop 12

Experts create ideas

Individual work-process 7

1) Foster curiosity
2) Initiate activity
3) Gain relevant information
4) Discover possibilities
5) Strategize
6) Commit to a project
7) Create ideas
8) Realize ideas
9) Test ideas, find success or failure
10) Use failure as a platform for new and better ideas
11) Repeat part or all of the process
12) Eventually, find achievement
Bonus – Ultimately, gain some level of mastery

“Everything Begins With An Idea.”

                           Earl Nightengale

Human ideas
Trial and error is a great way to discover. Animals are capable of trial and error and smart dogs will even speed up their attempts at a trick if they know there will be a treat that follows success. Human beings are capable of trial and error within imagination. No need to lift a finger, envisioning a solution to a problem can create a possible solution. This makes human beings very special, as the complexity of human achievement is only limited by self imposed limitations. As long as our imaginations don’t break the laws of physics or miscalculate the nature of human nature, human beings are capable of creating ideas that can move the world forward. To the expert, this can lend to expert-level work. As we’ve learned within the caveman rules of expert; Expert-level contributions are key contributions. In the bigger picture, they provide forward motion for mankind.

Ideas themselves are only ideas, they still need to be realized and tested. If they are realized and tested, and they fail, they are still ideas and they still have value. The value that one puts on failed ideas will say a lot about they stand with regards to the individual work-process of the Unconventional Expert. People who see failed ideas as an end-point will have a difficult time moving past early attempts at anything. Within the Unconventional Expert’s individual work-process, failure is a platform for new and better ideas. Knowing what doesn’t work provides valuable information for what might work. Failure with an idea can often reflect shortcomings within our imaginations.

1) Did the idea fail because human imagination failed to follow the boundaries of physics? Was the possibility impossible?

In developing ideas that manipulate technology or physical objects, it is easy to think something will work when it doesn’t. The more we work with things the more we understand their limitations and the better we get at creating ideas that have a higher possibility of success.

2) Was the idea bad in that human imagination miscalculate the nature of human nature? Did people react differently than expected, given the circumstances?

A common mistake made when selling into an unfamiliar market is the buying habits of the consumers. When an idea overstates the flexibility people have when it comes to their buying habits, ideas will need to be adjusted to either adjust to buying habits or attempt to change consumer buying habits. It should be noted, that attempting to change consumer buying habits usually a herculean lift.

(From CultureOfExperts.com: Module #7 – Ideas)

Ideas can expand business. A good idea ideas can make process more efficient, spark customer service, improve sales strategies and shape marketing programs. Ideas can create new products and services. Even though the term “intellectual property” is often associated with copyrights, trademarks and patents, they are simply ideas that belong to the company that created them. In this module, we will take a closer look at ideas.

Intellectual property
(From CultureOfExperts.com: Module #7 – Ideas)

Every company has some type of intellectual property. Even if it exists outside of their product or service offerings, there will still be some type of intellectual property within a company’s sales, marketing or operational strategies. A lead-list of potential clients might be considered intellectual property. To an experienced salesperson, a healthy lead-list might be the best property a company can have.

When familiarizing oneself with a new company, trying to determine their key intellectual property can be an enlightening exercise. Is there a single invention that drives the entire company? Is there a methodology that gives them the edge? Do they use a specific technology that makes them superior? Does their marketing strategy position them above their competition? Does their backstory play out like a game of Monopoly, with acquisitions and franchises?

Trying to discover the intellectual property behind a restaurant can be particularly challenging. Certainly, their key intellectual property should be in the food. In addition, there will be a number of intangibles that have us going to restaurants when we could be eating at home for a fraction of the price. Sometimes, the experience itself is more of the secret sauce than the actual sauce.

Ideas, big and small
(From CultureOfExperts.com: Module #7 – Ideas)

A big idea might lead to an entirely new product or service. When complex products are developed, research and development (R&D) is used as a formal process to develop ideas. If research and development is not formally executed, ideas still need some form of research and some type of development. A big idea can be as simple as placing an existing product into a new market segment. For this, it is the commitment that makes the idea big, by any definition. When seeding a product within a new market, there are sales, marketing, distribution and operational challenges to overcome.

Of course, the vast majority of ideas are small. A small idea might be as simple as a new way of describing a product feature so that a customer can more easily understand its benefit. Within a “Culture of Experts”, unconventional experts constantly create small ideas. To them, small ideas might be perceived as minutia adjustments to their individual work-process. Nonetheless, ideas are created, tested and developed. When there is failure, failure is used as a platform for new and better ideas. Ideas add to other ideas. Over time, these ideas will accumulate and show up within expert knowledge, skill, methodology and some level of mastery.

The expectations companies place on Unconventional Experts should not be focused on their ideas, although, there will certainly be ideas. Unconventional Experts are a long-term investment. Like all experts, they should be measured within the context of their expertise and their achievements over time.

Ideas and possibilities
Creating an idea can be a simple or singular event, where one dot connects to another. Ideas can also be extremely complex, a multitude of ideas that can potentially create a body of work. Similar to curiosity and strategy, studying realistic possibilities is a component in idea creation. As humans, we can predict a possible outcome that is advantageous.

Possibilities and ideas go hand in hand. Ideas have possibilities and possibilities take ideas. When Unconventional Experts realize ideas, they are simply trying to make possibilities possible.

Strategy outside of the process
A salesperson was asked advice on a sales strategy and quick provided an answer. Unfortunately, it was not the best answer, under the specific circumstances. This was a strategy, without the four individual work-process points that precede it:

1) Foster curiosity
2) Initiate activity
3) Gain relevant information
4) Discover possibilities
5) Strategize

If the salesperson would have initiated their individual work-process within its order, there would have been enough information to provide a strong strategy.

Testing ideas
Some people are great at coming up with ideas, but never try to realize them or test them.

Realizing an idea takes activity. Without activity, the idea is stalled within a concept.

Testing ideas takes a lot of bravery, as it will reveal the viability. An idea is just a concept and results are real. Ideas can fail, and no one prefers failure over success. We all have heard, in one expression or another, that it is better to try and fail than to fail to try. The key is to accept, or almost even expect failure; in the name of testing an idea. If an ideas stays as a concept, it is nothing. Even though failure is not considered a positive, it will be a platform for new and better ideas.

Workshop 12 questions:

1) Why is it common for people to come up with ideas and never realize them or test them?

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