Too Many Ideas?

About DSA

Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

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We have lots of great ideas just waiting for you to use!

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Ever return from a wonderful seminar or conference with too many ideas to implement? Jane Sink, Vice President of Marketing at DSA, just returned from a sales and marketing conference with at least 20 good ideas that look like they are worth pursuing. Since we all know how hard it is to implement any significatant change idea, we needed to narrow them down. I thought I would share with you how we narrowed the ideas down to one or two Ideas Worth Pursuing, (IWPs).

We took a three-step approach. You may want to give this a try the next time you have a meeting that generates lots of ideas that all appear to be pretty good.

Step 1:

List ideas you think are worth pursuing.

Ideas may come from anywhere–yourself, co-workers, other managers, your manager, outside the company, strategic planning sessions, corporate goals and plans.

Step 2:

Check off each idea against four criteria.


An achievable idea is one that you can implement or that you see being implemented easily. It is a practical idea.


A beneficial idea is one in which benefits outweigh the costs.


A compatible idea is one that suits you, your work group’s, and/or your organization’s needs, values, habits, and culture.


A divisible idea is one that can be implemented in parts or stages.

The inertia of the status quo is usually great, therefore any change idea will have a much better chance of seeing the light of day if it is strong on all four criteria.

Step 3:

Rank order your ideas.

For the ideas that received a check in all four boxes rank order them according to:

  • How significant you think the change will be. This idea will make a significant difference. It will greatly solve an existing problem, offer a new useful opportunity, or enhance the quality of life in the work environment in a strong, meaningful way.
  • Ease of implementation. This idea can be brought to life and be implemented without excessive investment of time, energy, resources. It can be done without unacceptable detriment to other parts of the organization.
  • Chance of being accepted. When presented to decision-makers, this idea will be viewed as fitting in with the system. A case can be built for it that will be convincing. It is not so alien as to be rejected outright.

Selecting a most promising idea from many requires more than checking off and rank ordering criteria. It requires strong intuitive judgment as well. Remember, intuition is not just “feeling.” It is a rapid and efficient means the mind uses to integrate large amounts of information.

See you next time,