How to separate good ideas from bad ones

Great ideas, bad ideas
Ideas, by h.koppdelaney

Some ideas are good. Some sound good, but aren’t.

If You Are a ‘Planner’

Let’s say you are one of those planning types. One who has daily, weekly and monthly plans…and then goes on with detailed five-year plans and so forth. Begin with the end in mind is a great principle, and one you follow.

If you’re one of them, there’s an easy way to separate good ideas from bad ones: good ideas are those that help speed up your goal and plan achievement.

Bad ones are those that are nice and shiny and cool and new and add variety, but don’t get you any closer to your goals.

So, at work, whether you should start developing a new feature for your product depends on whether that gets the product higher sales, significantly more PR, or changes the game on its usefulness to your clients and customers.

If You Are a ‘Free Spirit’

Now, let’s say you are one of those live-in-the-moment types. One who wants to tackle the challenges that come your way. You don’t necessarily decry planning, but you also don’t believe in five-year plans — that’s WAY too far in the future. One-year plans are pushing it for you.

If you’re one of them, it’s just as easy to separate good ideas from bad ones: good ideas are those that help speed up getting things done faster, more efficiently, and maybe even with a little style. They make your job and career fun. You make big changes with them, even if the ideas themselves seem small.

Bad ideas are those that are soak up a lot of your time and talent and energy but you hope move you forward incrementally — with an emphasis on the word hope.

So, at work, whether you should start developing a new feature for your product depends on whether that gets the product higher sales, significantly more PR, and…wait a minute…

The criteria are pretty much the same to differentiate between good ideas and bad ones.

The only thing that differs is how much time you WANT to spend pursuing shiny objects.

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