Efforts to innovate work when they combine the creativity multiplier of imagination and connections with skill and endeavour. Or in other words, innovation succeeds when great ideas are well executed.
Whereas idea making is all about the art of the fantastically possible, execution is about confronting and overcoming risk. Adventurers know all about achieving goals by balancing their ambition with creative pragmatism – as demonstrated by the polar explorer Ben Saunders who has just reached the South Pole and holds the world record for the longest polar journey on foot.
Saunders pushes himself further so that he can go further than anyone else and has helpfully shared his checklist for making sure it all works out. We think his approach can be applied by anyone wanting to execute their plans well.
Preparation is everything – enthusiasm to get going shouldn’t overcome common sense planning and organisation
Reframe failure by analysing the situation, taking the positives and moving on
Build the right team – ensure the right support is available at the right time. The idea may come from one person’s imagination, but successful execution is a group activity
Shorten focus – vision helps create the idea, realising it is achieved by taking one step at a time
Remember what is really important – and recognise that changing those steps or modifying the route to success is a necessary part of great execution
Get out of your comfort zone – if you don’t you are probably doing something you have already done. Innovators do new things by doing more, and doing them well.