But I’m not an ideas person…

Ideas are great; finding a new angle on a problem is awesome. But actually getting things done? That’s where the real magic lies. A great idea is nothing without follow-through and support. Although ideas get a lot of attention, innovation doesn’t start and end there. It actually occurs with the hard work that turns the idea into something that makes a difference. You don’t need to be an ideas person, to be a critical part of making innovation happen.

Supporters can make or break

Depending on the style of challenge, judges may put a heavy weighting on the level of support an idea achieves. Don’t think that just because you don’t have an idea right now, you aren’t needed on the platform. Your ability to spot a good idea, support it, or offer helpful, experience-based advice could make the difference better an average and a great idea.

The importance of a first follower

Few truly great things happen in isolation. If you spot an idea you fall in love with, you want to see succeed, join the team! This old meme hilariously documents how a first follower can make all the difference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ. Sometimes ideas-people frame things in terms not everyone will understand. The brilliance may not be immediately obvious to everyone. A first follower helps ease the translation by bringing a second perspective, skill set and network. This converts to an improved idea, stronger support and better potential for future implementation.
Nurture the follow-through people (FTP)
The idea is just the starting point. The hard work is about to begin, and those who carry it through to implementation are the oft-unsung heros of the innovation process (and business in general for that matter). Julie Zhao documents some of the characteristics of the FTP in her blog post here.

An amazing follow-through person is a rare gem. If you have this skill set, getting involved in innovation projects may offer you the opportunity to break out of your usual routine and really shine. Keep an eye out for a project you would love to lead and leap when the opportunity presents. It’s a great way to get to know other people across the organisation and show your true value.

Innovation is for everyone

No matter your skills, your voice is important to the process of innovation. From grounding a good idea in the reality to championing to implementing, any part of the innovation process will benefit from having you involved. However suits you best.

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