From Idea to Reality

Published / by Dean Eland

Have you been in a brainstorming session lately? In these sessions, we bring together a group of people to discuss a problem and ideate solutions until we come up with a list of potential options that we like. This is really good work for teams to do. It’s amazing what we can conceive when we gather people with diverse talents and perspectives. Unfortunately, this is often where the work stops. We have a dry erase board filled with ideas, but nothing changes in our work.

The tyranny of the urgent prevents us from moving ideas to execution. It is hard to do something new when our attention is constantly distracted by issues that require our full focus. But there is a reason a performance review is not called an “idea review.” Ideas happen all the time. But your leadership is not determined by the number or scale of your ideas. The real work involves execution. How do you bring the ideas to life? What does it take to fulfill the vision?

Execution can stall when we don’t track our progress. It is vital that you measure your movement toward your stated goal. How many people do you want to see in discipleship classes? By what date? What strategies will you use to communicate the goal? Without effective communication, people who need to be involved in executing the idea will not know what to do. But even if you are careful to take the necessary steps involved in execution, it’s important to expect resistance. New ideas lead to new plans — and people might not be excited to do something new. Be sure to plan for how you will work through resistance, because that might make the difference between a good idea and good execution.

Alban at Duke Divinity School. 15 May 2023. Aliaksandr Zadoryn / Canva