- Separate the ‘inventor’ from the implementation. The person behind the project is rarely effective at completing and finishing
- Prepare realistic ‘crawl-out costs’, revenue expectations and deadlines. You need to be ready to ruthlessly walk away if the idea doesn’t bear fruit.
- An aborted idea will reduce morale and confidence. So make sure you capture the learning from what went wrong and how you’d do it better next time.
- Use your ‘A’ team to give you the best chance of success, not the people who are ‘spare’ in the organisation.
- Ensure this team knows that if the project fails they still have a safe haven to return to in the core business. If they feel secure they will do their best work.
- Consider incubating the idea off-site, so they are not distracted by operational issues inside the core business. This will liberate their thinking.
- Allow a sensible contingency in your expenditure budget, but ring-fence this for exceptional circumstances.
- There’s plenty of money out there in the private equity world – you need to find a man that can find it for you.
- Only take your real nuggets to your bank as they will say no more often than not. Demonstrate that the downside risk will not seriously impact your core business.
- Growth isn’t always about the big idea. It can also be about many small initiatives that, combined together, make a real difference to your bottom line.
About the Author
Andrew has been a leading figure in the media and events industry for over 20 years. He launched the innovative Business Design Centre in Islington and was CEO of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham where he transformed the culture from ‘council’ to ‘commercial’ through a transformative leadership development programme. Today, he is Non Executive Chairman of Brand Events, the international consumer festival organiser, and the annual World Photography Awards in Cannes sponsored by Sony. However, his primary focus is as Chief Executive of the Academy for Chief Executives, which he acquired in January 2011. Find out more about Andrew’s London-based Chief Executive Forum >>