Run Partners

What’s your big idea?

— Celeste Moroney

Everyone is looking for the next big idea. But what if the big idea is just executing a lot of the small ideas well?

Sometimes we find ourselves waiting for the Fairy Godmother to appear at the risk of not tapping into the opportunities right before our eyes. Fortunately or unfortunately, we are not big on measuring the opportunities missed – so we are none the wiser.

The simplicity of identifying and following-through on a ‘task list’, in the style of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is ‘actionworthy’.  For the year, the team at Amazon, are accountable for 500 measurable goals.

When tasks are being crossed off, it’s difficult to keep the energy down. Things start to move, and in some cases very fast, if you let it. The electricity created from the energy within a business environment naturally lends itself to more ideas, which, can potentially lead to a ‘big idea’.

But the difference is, you haven’t been sitting around waiting for it. You are getting on with things, making your business stronger by the day. And so when the big idea arrives, you have a better chance of bringing it to life, and it succeeding.

Just a few ‘small ideas’ that you can add to your list (if they are not already there) –

  1. Your brand

Where is it now and where do you want it to be. What are you doing to maintain brand momentum and desirability for all stakeholders?

  1. Innovation

How can we improve on what we are currently doing? What does our innovation plans look like. A new idea could be a pack change, ingredient change or a new channel. Unless the idea is way off, a lot of the success of innovation is derived from a total business commitment to backing the idea, even when things get difficult. If the product speaks to the consumer, instead of giving up on the idea, maybe it just needs a re-work.

  1. The consumer

How can we understand our consumer better? How can we create a relationship that empowers, and by default, the consumer sells our brand/business for us?

  1. Positioning

Do you stand for something or are you circling around in the whitewash?

  1. Segmentation

Looking at the industry, channels, categories, competitors, customers, consumers, what is our next move and then the next five after that? Even looking outside our industry. Brand positioning, if built and managed well can allow brands to jump across industries. Good examples include @thankyouwater @balancebyDeborahHutton @michellebridges @katespade

  1. People

I am a big believer that the brand is the people. Do the people in the business understand and resonate with the consumer? Do the people reflect the attributes of where the brand is heading? Are both evolving?


It is worth asking the question, are these ‘small ideas’ or just ‘obvious ideas’. We tend to put less importance on the obvious ideas – but they are obvious for a reason, and can get us kicking more goals sooner than later.

The ‘Jerry Seinfeld sneaker trend’ where high-end fashion brands are selling sneakers for exorbitant amounts of money, is a good example of an obvious idea (versus a big idea).

What’s some of the obvious ideas in your business you can add to your list?

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