I’m not a golfer, but I occasionally enjoy watching a televised tournament on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I’ve noticed one thing all professional golfers have in common is their follow through. They’re still swinging their club while the ball is halfway down the fairway.
In many respects, that golf ball is like a bright new business or marketing idea. And throughout my career, I’ve watched a lot of business owners take a swing at what they considered to be a great idea.
But good ideas or great ideas are dime a dozen because ideas are only as good as the follow through — the implementation that follows.
Simple formula: Good idea, good follow through, great outcome. Good idea, poor follow through, lousy outcome.
I’ve noticed that some people are great at creating ideas. They churn out new and interesting ideas every hour of every day. But they fall down on the job when it comes to implementation. Others are good at implementation and follow through when you give them the idea and the desired outcome, but not very good when it comes to originating ideas.
If you have a team of highly creative problem solvers and creative types and put them in a room together, they’ll come up with dozens or hundreds of great and highly creative ideas. But they could find themselves so busy perfecting their great ideas that nothing gets implemented.
On the other hand, if you have a team of highly competent individuals capable of implementation and follow through, they’ll likely do fine until they hit a roadblock. Then they’re stuck for what to do next. In the absence of fresh creative thinking, they could be footslogging along hopeful an answer will mysteriously appear.
While golf doesn’t appear to be a team sport, creating ideas and implementing them certainly seems to be. In fact, I’ve found the solution comes best through building teams in which the idea people and implementation people value each other and work hand in hand toward a common goal.