We all love the romance of a big idea. They set our brains and imaginations on fire, overtake our senses (and sometimes our common sense), make our eyes pop, stomachs turn and arms flail about like streamers. They hit us like rocks or buses. They shake us out of ourselves.
And while big ideas are thrilling, they can also be dangerous. When reading Simple and Loveable's Tim Norton's post on teamwork, I was struck by this great quote:
There's probably plenty of people like me, I'm not an easy person to deal with at times, I say things I dont mean when I get heated (I still create too much heat), I over-focus on certain areas and let others of massive importance slip, I come up with 'big ideas' but struggle to bring them back down to earth and make them simple, I get things started and moving, but battle to finish...
I particularly like "I come up with 'big ideas' but struggle to bring them back down to earth and make them simple".
It is a common problem ... not just in the creative field. I am sure there are many of us who have had a great idea and become caught up in its pull. But as is often stated, it is not about the idea, but about its execution. The challenge of the BIG idea is to make it SMALL, or as Tim says, to bring it "back down to earth". As David Armano says, "It’s not about me. It’s about attracting consumers, engaging customers and meeting user’s needs" ... the idea is important, but it doesn't work, if it doesn't win. And it doesn't win if it doesn't communicate to your audience and address their wants, needs and expectations.
To deliver on the promise of the big idea, you need to make the big idea small. You need to do this to execute it and to control it. You need to do this to make it understandable to someone outside of your own space -- whether they are a client, a consumer, your business partner or your boss. And by making the big idea small, you can make sure that you manage it, and are not overcome by the connections, challenges and linkages.
I am beginning to think that a Compliant Idea is a BIG idea made small. Hmmm ... yet more to think upon.