Speculate to Accumulate

It’s as old as the Hills.

If you want to develop your business, you have to spend money doing so – spend £X, you get £Y in return.

But, an idea?

How many times have you had a eureka moment, discussed the issue to death and then … nothing.

“All talk no action.”

Some ideas manifest with a big fat ticket (infrastructure and IT) but, increasingly, there are others, particularly those in the digital space, that are free (give or take the time component).

Blogs are a good example.

The blog idea: we want to differentiate our business, and improve our search ranking.


“Who will run it?”

“How much time will it take up?”

“What’s in it for me?”

“I am not sure anyone would read it.”

With any idea, there is a squeeze point: the idea either gets stuck (forever) or it gets spat out the other end, but usually when the timing is wrong.

Ideas – the really remarkable type – are immensely precious. That’s not to say you should discount all but the ones that walk and talk like a winner (to whom?). You have to weigh up that nothing is certain, and unless you put yourself out there, even with something that feels inferior, you won’t know if there is any potential to scale.

Failure is not something that any of us like. It hurts, and is emotionally destructive. You can probably cope with one duff idea but two, or more?

Nowadays getting anyone to talk up is hard. No one wants to harm their career chances or look dumb. Some businesses have tried a suggestion box. Others have tapped into Blue Ocean Thinking and tried to develop an air of ‘anything is possible’. But the truth is that you come to rely on the same people, and look where that’s got you!

If you want to change the culture then you need to demonstrably show that you are prepared to back a few hairbrain schemes and not castigate or stymie the careers of those people who dare to put their reputation on the line. Likewise you don’t want people to feel that all you do is listen but not act.

In management speak you may have come across the saying “Ready, Fire, Aim.” You may think it daft, but just imagine if you had acted on a few of your hunches and not prevaricated.

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