Ideas to action was my first principles approach and framework when I started Creative Development in 2008. There is nothing new in this framework, as in it’s not one I created or invented. I just built on the thinking of others and used my own personal experience. As I started out 2022, almost like a blast from the past I stumbled across a folder with handouts and tools I used in my i2A workshops.
Let me share some of that material. The framework starts with defining the challenge. Albert Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” Extreme, may be one way to look at this however in a nutshell any action preceded by some thinking and planning has a higher probability of a successful outcome.
Defining the challenge is ultimately investing the time in thinking and planning. I do this off line in a notebook as I set out previously. A couple of tactics I will add, I like to generate lists. Ideas for Beavers, places to go, adventures, people to meet, jobs to take on, projects to start. Writing lists is a form of ideation and gets the creative juices flowing, it also helps me see constraints and limitations. I also have the freedom to make challenges and ideas bigger. The bigger the goal, the objective the more thinking required to solve it and figure what needs to happen next.
What happens next is key. Don Quixote, inspired by his extensive library, did not stay at home and continue to imagine a life as a Knights Errand. He took action and set out on his adventures. The cornerstone of i2A was moving from an idea to action. With the action aiming at the highest return for time invested. There is nothing more determined than a made up mind, a made up mind fixed on the next best action, aligned against a realistic set of micro conversions, reflecting and reviewing progress. This Is intentional behaviour, quite the opposite of our hero Don Quixote. The point here is that applying a framework to our ideas, enables focus, intention and a point of reflection as we proceed. The concept of micro conversions steals from Atomic Habits, where we look at the small, accountable actions we can take each day to move us towards our intentions – we are not what we do but what we repeat – for better or worse!
I will share a couple of things I am doing right now to build on this idea. I am not why I do but what I repeat…
Daily – habit tracker which helps focus on daily rituals and building a solid streak each month. Capturing two or three things I am grateful for each day. An idea a day keeps the doctor away, I am to write one idea, thought each day. Lastly on January 1st I started a 5 year diary, writing a short note on each day every day!
Weekly – I write a weekly success list, what do I need to get done this week. Each Monday I have 30 minutes scheduled for P3 – Plan, Ponder and Priorities. This is a simple writing exercise, what’s my plan for the week, what are my key priorities and what’s on my mind. I wrap up on Sunday or Monday with a full page weekly review. I capture anything from the previous week and the aim is to just fill the page. This exercise is helping me process and move on!
Monthly – i capture wins, accomplishments, glad I did it from the previous month, i check in on my lists and if i can cross some things off. I set out a monthly game plan, what’s the focus, what’s important, what do I need to get done. Each month also starts with a writing exercise under the following headings: emotional, physical, mindset and what’s important.