(Series 7/8) How To Carry Great Ideas Through To Completion

wazoku Blog, EveryDay Innovation Blog Series

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So you’ve been working hard, knuckling down and coming up with some great business ideas. Ideas which genuinely could make all the difference to your organisation. But now we’re hitting the most crucial stage of all.

As you know, idea generation isn’t the problem for most companies, idea completion is.

You have the idea, you even multiple ideas from across the business. Getting ideas across the line include a few key ingredients:

  • Ensuring resources for idea completion are available
  • Getting buy-in from across the business
  • Deciding what success would look like for your idea

And this can be the biggest hurdle –  getting the go-ahead to implement your idea.

With that in mind, McKinsey have a useful tool for analysing the effectiveness of your ideas.


The McKinsey 7-S Framework

The framework involves seven interdependent factors which are categorised as either “hard” or “soft” elements:


  1. “Hard” elements are easier to define or identify. Management can directly influence them. They could be strategy statements; organizational charts and reporting lines; and formal processes and IT systems.
  2. “Soft” elements, on the other hand, can be more difficult to describe, are less tangible and more influenced by culture. However, these soft elements are as important as the hard elements if the organization is going to be successful.
  •         Strategy (Hard) – The plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition.
  •         Structure (Hard) – The way the organization is structured and who reports to whom.
  •         Systems (Hard) – The daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done.
  •         Shared Values (Soft) – The core values of the company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic.
  •         Style (Soft) – The style of leadership adopted
  •         Staff (Soft) – The employees and their general capabilities.
  •         Skills (Soft) – The actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company.


Below is a typical example of the structure of a McKinsey 7S Model:




Whatever the type of change: restructuring, new processes, new systems, change of leadership and so on – the framework can be used to understand how organisational elements are interrelated. Use the framework to ensure that the wider impact of changes made in one area are taken into consideration. Find out more about the The McKinsey 7S Model on their website.

The McKinsey Model is just one example of an idea evaluation tool, and there are many more out there, which is something we will explore in more detail in the near future.

Remember, the best ideas aren’t always the ones that get selected. Approval of ideas varies on a multitude of factors depending on the organisation and/or sector. However, lessons can be learnt from ideas that never make it to implementation.

And just in case you thought you’ve got out of it easy, remember that innovation doesn’t finish with idea creation – it’s actually just the start. Now the real hard work begins.