How to Create a Great Idea? Part 3: Master Planning

Is it enough to have landed on a Great Idea, a concept that has the potential to reposition your company in the marketplace, change the category, tip the scales, and allow you a significant leap forward? No. Once you’ve landed on what you believe to be this formative concept, this is when the hard work begins.

In our new joint venture with Bleublancrouge—L’Institut—we talk about “Master Planning”. Master Planning is actually the name for the entire journey that includes:

1) Conducting a mapping on the public consciousness and its unmet needs and desires as it pertains to your enterprise. This provides important clues as to what the conceptual territories are that may contain your next Great Idea.

2) Allowing the exploration and ideation of new concepts based on this mapping of unmet consumer needs and desires.

3) The paring down of these concepts into the “best of”, based on such factors as an examination of market size, potential upside of the idea, costs and timing required to go to market, etc.

4) The prototyping and piloting of the new concept, to work out kinks and bugs, and start gauging the real market appetite for this kind of idea.

5) The comprehensive planning of the rollout of the idea in key markets.

This is of course grossly oversimplified, but still a fairly accurate description of the stages involved. Imagine the above applied to a new store design concept for a major electronics manufacturer, or to a new system for offering affordable and on call limo services to business customers in major cities, and you can visualize for yourself how this might unfold.

In the course of going through these stages, one of the key success factors will be the extent to which the leadership team and middle management are directly involved in the development of the idea itself. This will not only ensure a higher level of execution once the idea is in market, but a whole army of ambassadors who will speak for the brand and engage others with it. A great idea is only as great as the people behind it, and you want all of your people to exemplify and support the idea.