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Your main objective here is to select the best ideas and solutions you have come up with during the Re-Imagine step. These are the ideas that are most viable in helping you solve your problem most effectively.
You will select the best ideas based on a specific list of criteria that you must first define. This criteria will allow you to prioritize your ideas accordingly, and will likewise prepare you for the next sub-stage where you will be taking your highest priority ideas and envisioning a hypothetical future where you have implemented your ideas to help you solve your problem.
Keep in mind that you are only selecting here, and not evaluating any of your ideas at this time. It will also be prudent to choose up to five viable ideas to work with moving forward.
Let’s now explore this sub-step in a little more detail.
Define Your Criteria
Your task here is to come up with a specific list of criteria you will use in order to help you select the right solution to overcome your problem. This criteria should allow you to narrow down your options to just a handful of ideas that have the highest probability of success.
The criteria you use to rank your ideas will vary depending on the problem you are facing, the resources you have on hand, and on the objectives you have in mind. For instance, your criteria for ranking your ideas could be based on revenue potential or on implementation time.
It’s critical that you define a criteria that is relevant to the outcomes or goals that you are wanting to achieve.
Here are some business related questions you might like to ask yourself to help you define a clear criteria:
- Does this idea reinforce the organization’s mission and vision?
- Does the idea support the organization’s culture?
- How will the idea influence our profits, revenue and margins?
- Does the idea build on core competencies?
- Is there enough support for this idea within the organization?
- Do we have enough resources to make this idea work?
Here are some personal questions you might like to ask yourself to help you define a clear criteria:
- Does this idea reinforce my personal mission and vision?
- Is the idea consistent and congruent with my beliefs and values?
- How will the idea impact my finances?
- Will the idea help me to grow; to develop myself, and to move forward?
- How committed am I to this idea?
- Do I have enough resources to make this idea work?
It may also be helpful to develop an acronym that you can use to help you define your criteria more clearly. The acronym you create must of course match the goals and objectives that you would like to achieve. At the same time, it must be simple and measurable. You must leave nothing to chance, making sure that every criteria you select is defined clearly.
Here are some examples of common acronyms that you might like to use:
- High Quality
For an idea to be practical it might mean that you can easily test and implement it given your current resources. On the other hand, an idea that is not practical might overwhelm your current resources, might also be dangerous or harm other areas or processes.
For an idea to be fast might mean that it lends itself to rapid implementation.
For an idea to be cost-effective might mean that it can be implemented without significant overall costs.
Create a Shortlist
Having defined your criteria clearly, you must now reduce the number of ideas to a shortlist of about three to five potential ideas that you can work with to build effective scenarios. These ideas potentially become three to five possible solutions to your problem.
- What are the five best ideas I could potentially work with?
Once you have selected your shortlist, you’re ready to move on to the next sub-stage along your journey through The Path.
How can I visualize this?
Integrated into this stage is a set of visual thinking techniques, strategies, tools and processes that you can utilize to help you visualize your thoughts on paper or in physical form. These techniques will be revealed and integrated into each stage along The Path over time.