Let’s kick in an open door. Ideas run through different stages until you realise them. You’ll probably recognise it from your own professional experience…
First, there’s the exploring stage. You or your colleagues are coming up with loads of new ideas. And because there are still a lot of uncertainties, it’s best to prototype these ideas. While you’re testing, you’ll be answering questions like:
- Is there a market fit,
- Will the idea be profitable,
- Do we have the right skills in-house,
At the start, these prototypes are still small, but they do create a lot of evidence for later. You’re making sure your idea is worth it.
Now the problem is, when a promising idea exits the exploring phase, you might know how the wheels turn. But how are you going to make sure your colleagues know too? That’s a challenge you’ll tackle during the exploit stage.
This is where you turn ideas into clear pipelines. How will you roll out your idea in order for everything to run as smoothly as possible? Surely you’ll notice how the uncertainty you had at the start, is slowly disappearing.
Loads of companies deal with it: a load of great ideas, but they don’t convert into reality. How on earth do you make sure the right ideas don’t end up in the drawer?
The explore-exploit framework (source) creates a good base to get rid of uncertainties. With this mindset, more ideas find their way into reality. But knowing how to create the right professional environment to make good ideas succeed? That’s where the magic happens…
The people & mindset of your organization play a role you simply cannot underestimate…
The right people
A football team can’t win if there are 11 strikers on the pitch. The same goes for your organization. There are two essential profiles: superstars & rockstars. (source) Let’s meet them.
Ideas and opportunities don’t appear out of thin air. That’s why you’ll need employees who are constantly looking for the next big thing. They’re the ‘Superstars’ of your organization.
Superstars scan for where the next opportunity lies, and more importantly: where not. They love a bit of chaos and uncertainty. You can sense it: these profiles generate the largest stream of ideas and are at their best during the explore stage.
It’s the superstars who map out where you want to go during the explore-stage. That’s cool: but how do you actually get there? The person who comes up with an idea is often not the one most fit to roll it out. That’s why your organisation also needs another type of talent: the ‘Rockstars’.
It’s a Rockstars goal to create clarity out of the uncertainties from the explore stage. Rockstars optimise and give practical interpretations to vague ideas. They don’t like the uncertainties in which Superstars excel. That’s why your company empowers them by using them during the exploit phase.
Does your company have the right balance between Rock- and Superstars?
When your company consists of only Superstars, you’ll have an overflow of new ideas. The problem is that no one has the skills to turn them into reality efficiently. Are there more Rockstars on the work floor? Then your working processes will run as smooth as a baby’s bottom. But there won’t be a lot of new ideas coming up.
That’s why you don’t only look at hard skills during a job interview. Take Rock- or Superstar into consideration. That’s how you create a healthy mix of profiles in your organisation. When you have both rock- and superstars running around the office? Then you’ll generate a big flow of new ideas, and have an efficient roll-out.