It’s All In The Follow Through…

1 Aug

…and mine hasn’t always been that great!  Like many of my coworkers, I love the idea generation process, which typically involves filling up whiteboards and flipchart paper with smatterings of scribbled notes and post-it wallpapering to capture ideas that range from the utterly absurd to the undeniably brilliant.

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However, I’m not always the greatest when it comes to following through and executing on the resulting ideas.  It’s not that I dislike seeing things through, it’s just that I have a bit of a tendency to over extend myself because I keep getting excited about new ideas.  Often I don’t even have enough time to transcribe the brainstormed notes before my next meeting, which is why I wind-up with a camera phone full of shots like the ones above.

I was in the process of procrastinating from transcribing the shots above earlier this week when I came across this interesting article in my Twitter feed titled “The Best Strategy for Innovation: Knowing Your Limits.”  The tweet was by Fast Company and it linked to this article on their website: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1664575/design-thinking-still-works.  This quote from the article caught my eye:

“…as Mark Zuckerberg (apocryphally) said to the Winkelvoss twins, ‘If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would’ve invented Facebook.’  In other words, coming up with the right idea — even if it’s a brilliant one, straight from the whiteboards of a high-profile design consultancy — means nothing without the ability to make it real.”

This was just the extra push I needed to buckle down and complete my transcription.  Thankfully it was a relatively quiet week in the office for me, which made it easier for me to stay focused and shift from transcription right into grinding away at execution plans for the ideas, which were mostly born out of our recent office retreat. 

The week was punctuated by the send-off party for the Fall 2011 Africa Program Staff (APS) group (the party is pictured below, although I only managed to capture Rebecca and Lauren from the APS group in the shot – along with recently returned APS Brian Venne).

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The Fall 2011 APS group includes: Rebecca Peel, Brian McGee, Lauren Dodds, Alex Joyce, David Taylor, Sierra Vercillo, Ibrahim Nambiema, and Ashley Meek.  Each of them will all be spending a year or more overseas.  Also included in the training session were two representatives from TransCanada Pipeline (Dominique Dagenais and Marielle Flottat), who represent our first ever direct corporate-partnership short term volunteers.  Please join me in wishing them all safe travels and best of luck!

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