London Bridge is Falling Down – Scale Lessons in Ideas
Okay, so it didn’t actually fall down, but in the 1960s surveys showed that it was sinking 2.5cm every eight years and it would have to be replaced.
Ivan, a member of the City of London’s Council, came up with the “crazy” idea of putting the bridge up for sale. He was ridiculed; who would buy a bridge?
Enter American Oil Tycoon Robert, who paid 1.9 Million Pounds for it!
Add onto this the time and resources needed to dismantle all 10,276 pieces, ship through the Panama Canal to Long Beach, California, then carry on trucks to Lake Havasu for reassembly.
Why did he buy the bridge?
Robert had spent millions buying 16,000 acres of Arizona desert to establish a township; Lake Havasu City. But it was missing one thing: a major attraction to lure visitors and literally put this new town on the map.
And it did just that; the Bridge spans a man-made canal and forms the centrepiece of an English-style theme park that includes a mock-Tudor shopping mall. It’s become Arizona’s second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon!
Scale Lesson this week:
There is NO such thing as a Crazy Idea…
…UNLESS you have an environment that isn’t open to sharing ideas; an environment where people dismiss or hide “crazy” ideas.
Whatever the size of your business and your team, opportunities – and lasting change– will only arise from an open and inclusive environment. Answer the following:
- Can all of your team freely share ideas? …On a regular basis?
- Is there a fear of ridicule or embarrassment?
- What happens to “crazy” ideas? Is there a process other than simply dismissing them?
If you already have an open-minded environment, but are still struggling to come up with new ideas on anything from processes or improvements to your customer journey through to marketing campaigns or new products, then how about:
- Reminding your team – with some real-life examples– of the power of ‘crazy’ ideas and ensure your culture encourages the sharing and discussion of any
- Allowing everyone to make contributions anonymously – people are more likely to share ‘crazy’ ideas as they know they won’t be publicly ridiculed.
- Group Ranking – Have your team rate and decide on these best ideas. By removing human bias, ideas can be discussed without anyone knowing whose idea they’re rating.
- Make ‘Ideas’ a part of the routine and rhythm of your business.
The Scalability Coach | Britain’s Top 10 Adviser 2018 | Author of #1 bestseller I don’t work Fridays | Ex-CEO of a PLC