Three Little Big Ideas


When staring down a big problem or opportunity, most of us try to solve the challenge by seeking out a single, gigantic, perfect, silver-bullet solution. But when that idyllic answer doesn’t appear from the heavens, we throw in the towel. Instead of trying to conquer all at once, try Idea Chipping instead. See if you can come up with 20 little ideas that will help the problem instead of solve the problem. You’ll be more likely to achieve meaningful results and avoid quitting out of frustration. Instead of swinging for the fences, keep chipping away.

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To land a spot in a broadway show, music conservatory, sports team or TV drama, you must audition. Yet in the business world, we often make critical hiring decisions based on a snappy resume and a series of unnatural interviews. Instead of interviewing candidates, audition them. Give them a small project with a deadline, ideally one that will demonstrate their critical thinking, attention to detail, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Same is true if you’re hiring a vendor, exploring a strategic partnership, or considering a new investor. Trade in interviews for auditions and you’ll boost your success rate dramatically.

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It’s easy to assign blame to others when things don’t unfold the way we want. The client lied, the spouse took advantage, the team member couldn’t follow instructions. While there are, of course, isolated incidents when people let us down, we must examine the role we play when things get messy. If you’re on your fifth marriage, maybe you have a role in your unraveling relationships. If you’ve been overlooked for a promotion nine times, perhaps you have a hand in the results. Instead of instinctively being disappointed in others when results fall short, let’s look inward, take responsibility for our own actions, and then change our own behavior on the next attempt.

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