Don’t Ask. Do.

Every work environment has its own levels of complexity regarding decision-making.  People will always have a stake in how decisions are made and more importantly, how the outcomes of those decisions affect their interests.  So as you can imagine, thinking differently to promote change and progress may come in direct opposition to interests at hand.  But is this really so?  A good idea which ultimately directly moves your organization forward is just that- a good idea.

There is no better way to kill a good idea before it even begins to materialize than by asking for permission to proceed.  Here’s why:

Scenario 1

You have an idea you would like to see pushed forward, you ask for your leadership’s blessing and you’re immediately advised not to proceed.  Some reasons being fear or simply the fact that the idea steers from what is normal, safe and familiar.  Your proposed idea is just that- a presented thought with no actual results.  Leadership may only see the risk and no reward (Because you haven’t moved on anything yet.).

Scenario 2

You have an idea and you understand the complexities of your work environment.  You decide to move forward with the idea without getting buy-in from your leadership.  You implement your solution and you test your idea with real users/stakeholders in your organization.  Your idea turns out to be less than air tight - but you’ve gathered learnings as to why.  Word gets out to leadership and naturally your unvetted move does not sit right with everyone, but it is clear that your solution will be ultimately an asset for the group as you present real tested findings.

The above scenarios are very much oversimplifications but they make a powerful point:  Real innovation will never happen by asking to move forward.  By doing, you will take on some risk, so it’s important to have a good understanding of your organization so that you can assess the risk, and then pair this with the impact you feel you will be able to create.