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Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution

ISBN: 978-1-118-16399-3
224 pages
February 2012
Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution (1118163990) cover image


Proven pathways for taking ideas to implementation

We all have ideas—things we want to do or create—but only some of us will do what it takes to see those ideas come to pass. In Good Idea. Now What? readers will discover some of the essential values and principles that guide successful idea-makers, including the leveraging of mixed environments for creativity, working through resistance and setbacks, developing a practical plan for implementation that works, navigating collaborative opportunities, and communicating your idea to make it truly remarkable.

Whether you're just a creative type, or the leader of an organization, you must figure out a creative process and develop an infrastructure for implementing your ideas. Good Idea. Now What? offers systematic advice for moving your ideas to execution. It will show you:

  • The fundamental elements of a good idea
  • Tangible pathways to follow after initial inspiration
  • The importance of branding and its impact on ideas
  • Practical advice for developing a loyal tribe of supporters who will take your idea to a whole new level

It's not enough to be inspired. Learn how to follow through on your ideas and discover how great an impact you can have!

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Table of Contents

Preface: Born into a Legacy of Idea Makers xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Idea Lovers versus Idea Makers xv

Who Is This Book For? xv

How Does This Book Work? xvi

The Business of Good Ideas xvii

A Conversation over Coffee xvii

PART 1 Where Do Good Ideas Come From? 1

CHAPTER 1 Strategy or Chance? 3

CHAPTER 2 Ideas in the Midst 5

Wisdom from the Streets 6

Spatial Distance? 7

CHAPTER 3 My Need for Need 9

CHAPTER 4 Medici Changed My Life 11

The Medici Tweet? 12

CHAPTER 5 Don't Settle for Good 15

PART 2 Life after Inspiration 19

CHAPTER 6 Addicted to Inspiration 21

CHAPTER 7 What Plan? 25

Passion Unrealized 25

CHAPTER 8 Dig a Little Deeper 29

The Dreaded Business Plan 29

Wisdom from Wade 30

A Few Questions for Idea Makers 31

CHAPTER 9 Ideas Don't Work; You Do! 33

Bootstrapping for Project 7 35

Become a Bootstrapper! 36

CHAPTER 10 Choose Family 37

PART 3 Overcoming Creative Resistance 41

CHAPTER 11 Wipe Your Nos and Buts 43

A Prehistoric Brain 44

CHAPTER 12 The Dreaded Look Inside 47

CHAPTER 13 Disturbance in the Force 51

Bringing It Home 52

CHAPTER 14 Hear Me Out 55

The Other Side of the Coin (Practicing What We Preach) 56

PART 4 Paving a Creative Pathway 59

CHAPTER 15 No Escape Clause 61

CHAPTER 16 Got Rhythm? 65

CHAPTER 17 Don’t Just Add; Multiply 69

A Wandering Generality 69

The Bad News . . . 70

Discovering the Power of Focus 72

CHAPTER 18 I Can See It! 75

More Than Digital 76

CHAPTER 19 Press Pause 79

Your Life Needs Space as Well 80

Emergency Room Counseling 81

Putting on the Breaks! 82

PART 5 Elements for Idea Making 1 85

CHAPTER 20 The Art of Evolution 87

CHAPTER 21 DNA or R&D? 89

CHAPTER 22 Risk (Overrated!) 93

CHAPTER 23 The Miracle of Writing and Waiting 97

CHAPTER 24 Think Multiple, Not Perfect 101

Spaghetti Sauce Lessons 102

PART 6 Elements for Idea Making 2 105

CHAPTER 25 Simple 107

CHAPTER 26 Quality, Quality, Quality 111

CHAPTER 27 The F Word 115

CHAPTER 28 Under Pressure 119

CHAPTER 29 Dealing with Setbacks 125

Changing the World through Shoes 125

CHAPTER 30 Beat the Tribal Drum 129

PART 7 The Work of Collaboration 133

CHAPTER 31 Myths 135

Myth 1: Collaboration Just Happens on Its Own 136

Myth 2: Collaboration Is Intuitive for Everyone 136

Myth 3: Collaboration Is an Act of Lightening the Workload 136

Myth 4: Collaboration Is a One-Size-Fits-All Endeavor 137

Myth 5: Collaboration Is about Finding the Right Technological Tools 137

CHAPTER 32 Human: The X Factor 139

CHAPTER 33 I Need It! 143

An Organization Created in Collaboration 144

CHAPTER 34 Do You Trust Me? 147

CHAPTER 35 Fight Club 153

CHAPTER 36 The Hire 159

PART 8 Getting Out There! 165

CHAPTER 37 Why Brand Matters 167

A Practical Guide to Branding 169

CHAPTER 38 A Personal Brand? 171

Accidental Lessons about Personal Branding 173

CHAPTER 39 The Pitch 175

An Idea Worth Sharing 180

CHAPTER 40 Life in a Digital Age 183

Conclusion 191

A Note about Failure 192

Recommendations for Further Reading 195

About the Author 199

Index 201

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Author Information

Charles T. Lee is the CEO of Ideation Consultancy Inc., an idea agency that specializes in helping influencers, organizations, and businesses take ideas to implementation via creative strategy, branding, design, marketing, web, social media, and events. Charles is also a founding member of JustOne, an organization innovating ideas for human care. In addition, he is the creator of grassroots efforts including the Ideation Conference and the Freeze Project. Charles is a highly sought-after speaker and blogs regularly at www.charlestlee.com.

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Press Release

February 03, 2012
Charles T. Lee Guides Idea-Makers From Concept to Reality in “Good Idea. Now What?”

Most winning endeavors—be they successful companies, effective organizations, transformative movements, or game-changing inventions—began with only a bright idea. However, a strong concept without the right work behind it won't get anyone very far.

In his new book, Good Idea. Now What? How to Move Ideas to Execution (Wiley; Hardcover and eBook; February 2012; $24.95; 978-1-118-16399-3) CEO of Ideation Consultancy Inc., Charles T. Lee reveals the steps and structure needed to bring an inspiration to reality and gives readers insight into the essential values and principles that guide successful idea makers.

Whether a creative manager, the leader of an organization, or just a creative person, anyone with great ideas must figure out a process and develop an infrastructure for implementing the ideas. To aid all types of inspired minds, Good Idea. Now What? discusses ways to leverage mixed environments for creativity, work through resistance and setbacks, develop a practical plan for implementation that works, navigate collaborative opportunities, and effectively communicate an idea. Lee offers systematic advice for moving ideas to execution with his own first-hand knowledge from his consulting work and the tactics of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of today.

“Over the years I’ve had the privilege to engage with phenomenal idea-makers from all over the world and this book gives readers the  opportunity to hear from those that are in the trenches getting stuff done,” says Lee. “People like Soledad O'Brien at CNN, or Scott Harrison of Charity Water, or Blake Mycoskie of Tom Shoes, and many others in their own respective industries that are doing well in implementing because, at the end of the day, implementation is what will distinguish your idea from everyone else’s.”

Whether starting a new venture or recalibrating an established work,  Good Idea. Now What? brings busy readers 40 bite-sized chapters covering the entire process for successfully building out a concept. Quick takeaway boxes and helpful self-quizzes in each chapter also reinforce key points. This presentation enables readers to move freely among subjects, from sparking inspiration, to making an effective plan, and more, including:

  • The fundamental elements of a good idea and tangible pathways to follow after initial inspiration
  • Myths about collaboration
  • Branding examples that have worked for innovative companies like Apple,  Google and Amazon  
  • How those who those who lack the intentional strategy, infrastructure or the viable network needed to organically grow awareness around a product idea can move their idea forward
  • Practical advice for developing a loyal tribe of supporters who will take an idea to a whole new level

“I wrote this book for two kinds of people: ‘The idea lover’ who is sick of just sitting on great ideas and ‘The idea maker’ who needs to refresh and reaffirm his or her understanding of the elements for implementing ideas well,” adds Lee. “Every good idea needs strong business philosophy and strategy in order to take flight and scale. Good Idea. Now What? helps readers implement a concept with good business sense to help them follow through on their ideas, and discover how great an impact they can have.”

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