Actionable Idea Checklist

Perspective around Ideas

A checklist for success

By Ian Richardson, Managing Partner, Richardson & Richardson Consulting

This blog is presenting the questions that make up my Actionable Idea Checklist. I use this checklist before filing an idea in my idea drawer. If you’re curious about the idea drawer, take a look here for more information around that concept. [Your Idea Drawer | Richardson & Richardson (] This blog post has similar questions listed in it, in a more general sense. You can combine the two lists when examining items for your idea drawer.

List 3: Ideas

Note that this is a bit of a different way of pursuing perspective and mostly involves questions for myself, the visionary scoping the idea. There is a final batch of questions I would ask an outside resource, but that resource is restricted to someone I know and trust not to violate the sanctity of my idea. Its important to run through the entire actionable idea checklist before leaving the idea for future pursuit — it not only ensures the idea is well thought out, it helps prevent loss of clarity around the idea over time.

  • Questions to myself to help properly scope and define the idea for future reference.
    • Stoplight Rating: Red – I’m not allowed to “store” the idea without these being answered.
    • “What is the idea?”
    • “What teams does the idea require / impact. What is the scope of that impact?”
    • “What is the potential monetary return on the idea? How will it make us additional profit?”
    • “What is the customer impact of the idea? How does it benefit our customers?”
    • “How will the idea impact our culture / teams?”
    • “Is the idea feasible? Could we pursue this idea if we had time, treasure, and human capital?”
    • “Is our competition currently offering this idea in some way, shape, or form?”
    • “Is anyone currently offering this idea in some way, shape or form? Is the idea a “red ocean” or “blue ocean” strategy?”
    • “What collateral and/or materials will be needed to support the idea? Do we need to educate the marketplace on the value of the idea, or is the market ripe for harvesting?”
    • “What are the potential negatives from the idea?”
    • “Does the idea further our progress towards our vision?”
    • “What does success look like for the idea?”
    • “What is a potential process for implementation of the idea at a high level?”
    • “What does selling the idea look like? What are the pain points the idea addresses for our clients? What discovery questions would we ask to identify a fit for the idea?”
    • “What are the expenses and/or COGs involved with the idea?”
    • “What vendors and/or suppliers will be involved in the idea?”
  • Questions to a key person in my sphere (This person will be a non-peer. Ideally this would be a mentor and/or business partner, or someone who I can trust will not “steal” the idea and implement it themselves)
    • Stoplight Rating: Yellow
    • Questions I would ask:
      • “Here are the basics of my idea, what are your thoughts around it?”
      • “What items am I missing from my idea analysis?”
      • “If I could dedicate the resources to the idea, would you recommend I pursue it? Why or why not?”
      • “What would you pay for this idea if you were presented it for your organization?”

If you’re struggling to create an actionable idea checklist, execute on your ideas, or get your team in alignment with the need for fresh thinking, Richardson & Richardson can help. Check out our case studies for stories of organizations that we’ve assisted with similar issues and download our white papers for deep dives on tools you can use in your organization. If you’re wondering where to start, book a complimentary session with one of the Richardsons today to come up with a plan on how to move forward.

Always Forward,

Ian Richardson


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