Good Idea! Now What?

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When you are brand new to a group, you may see many opportunities for improvement. But, ideas from an outsider can feel like implied criticism. After all, how could an outsider understand the tribulations the team is facing? Show you understand by offering an idea to solve something the group views as a problem, not something you see as a problem. Once the team sees that you can solve their problems, they'll be more likely to listen to your other ideas.

Sometimes a great idea comes a few seconds too late. When a team has too many ideas, they may feel overwhelmed. Or, as team members chase each shiny, new idea, those ideas may not stick. When the team is close to a decision and a new idea enters the mix, the team goes back into analysis, examining the new idea.

You may have an even better idea, but sometimes it's best to hold that for the next round and get on with implementing "good enough."

Ron continued to generate ideasideas that usually involved more work for other people, and no ownership on his part. His teammates continued to ignore his ideas until one day someone told him to just shut up. So, if you want to stay out of the Ron trap, remember these four points—it's not about you, it is about who you know, action creates attraction, and timing is everything. I can't guarantee that all your excellent ideas will come to fruition, but many will. And you'll been seen as someone who knows how to make things happen.

About the author

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby

A regular StickyMinds.com and Better Software magazine contributor, Esther Derby is one of the rare breed of consultants who blends the technical issues and managerial issues with the people-side issues. She is well known for helping teams grow to new levels of productivity. Project retrospectives and project assessments are two of Esther's key practices that serve as effective tools to start a team's transformation. Recognized as one of the world's leaders in retrospective facilitation, she often receives requests asking her to work with struggling teams. Esther is one of the founders of the AYE Conference. She co-author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. She has presented at STAREAST, STARWEST and the Better Software Conference & EXPO. You can read more of Esther's musings on the wonderful world of software at www.estherderby.com and on her weblog at www.estherderby.com/weblog/blogger.html. Her email is derby@estherderby.com.

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