Acknowledge and plan for the reality that the people who seed projects are rarely the ones who keep them alive.
It may sound obvious, but the skills and personalities required to conceive of and launch new initiatives are rarely the same ones as those which need to be in place to maintain it. It might be helpful to think of the phases of launching vs. maintaining a project as seasons of innovation. For eons, and across many cultures, we have shared a model of creating value in one very simple way: the four seasons of the year and how they relate to planting seeds, helping them take root, harvesting and then plowing the ground to ready the next year’s crop. Our colleague, Miles Kierson, defined the phases of execution as formulation, manifestation, realization and execution—four phases which correspond well to spring, summer, fall and winter.
Each stage is vulnerable. As we begin to form new ideas, we have to assess their viability. That means that some people are suggesting new ideas while others are stress-testing them, which is uncomfortable for both parties. And the skills to assess what ideas might actually be launch-ready is very different from ideas that would work in practice.