Sunday, 15 January 2017

Give me a grade “C” idea with grade “A” implementation



I met an old friend the other day who has recently moved to the UK and now acts as an investor angel for business and tech start-ups. I was curious as to how the mix of old, wise, experience works with young, naïve passion.

I asked if his role was to fire their enthusiasm to seem them through the difficulties or perhaps take a more conservative approach to warm them of all the pitfalls and keep them practical and grounded.

I was pleased the despite being older than his entrepreneurs my friend was no less passionate.

He reflected on a business trip to Israel and the meeting tech entrepreneurs. A Minister present asked what is more important, the idea or the implementation. The leader of the business incubator didn’t hesitate in their reply. It is implementation.

There are 1000 Facebooks. There are 1000 Googles. There are 1000 Amazons. What makes those businesses a success was not that they were truly unique in their concept but that they had strong foundations in their implementation.

Like Lord Sugar I can be cynical about MBAs. My experience is that an MBA can tell you 1000 reasons why a business might fail, but not guarantee any success. It seems the most successful people like Sugar and Branson are unburdened by lots of theory but they are good at implementation.

Sugar didn’t invent the PC. Branson didn’t invent the plane, train or bank.

Their success is in implementation.

However this is not the implementation of on-time, on-budget or to-specification.  Achieving this is hard enough but products and services can achieve this but still fail to succeed.

In this case implementation is about engagement, it goes beyond the transition from theory to reality and instead has at its heart adoption.  In a post-fact society perhaps adoption is less about functionality and more about trust.

Trust is less about ideas (what you say) and more about action (what you do).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Rogers is a Qualified Change Practitioner and PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute. 

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