Ideas don’t fail because they are lousy ideas. Ideas don’t work because they are great ideas.

The Idea

Have an idea that makes a positive difference to people.

Make what you do and the way that you do it both unique and desirable. 

Ask yourself the question “what could we do that would have people form a queue?”

The Spreadsheet

Know the numbers – inside out.

Learn to dance with a spreadsheet.

Build the spreadsheet that demonstrates what capital expenditure and ongoing revenues you will need to get the idea off the runway and up to maximum cruise.

Make the spreadsheet capable of tweaking so that you can play with different scenarios.

The People

Design the perfect organisational structure that allows you to focus 80% of your time on your unique ability and 20% of your time leading and managing your people.

Establish the roles, responsibilities and characteristics of all the people you will need.

Hire the right people – be uncompromising in your choices, be prepared to fail fast.

The Resources

Decide what resources you will need to deliver a remark-able experience.

Include the investment in the best resources in your spreadsheet.

Invest in the best resources – provided they feed you and don’t eat you.

The Targets

Establish the performance targets.

Measure, monitor and hold your people accountable frequently.

The Plan

Figure out how you are going to do it.

Do it.

p.s. make frequent course corrections – your plan is always broken.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

One thought on “Ideas don’t fail because they are lousy ideas. Ideas don’t work because they are great ideas.”

  1. I first heard the advice “Fail Fast” from an army guy in a meeting. Some other people laughed, but I knew at once what he meant, be prepared to accept something isn’t working and needs to change. Failing at something is quite possible but don’t exhaust yourself doing it over a long period of time – that’s something that always frightens me, the idea that I am on a path that doesn’t lead to success but I won’t be in a position to discover that early enough to change direction easily. And how to decide if I have given something a reasonable “go” before deciding that it’s not a good idea as opposed to the problem being that I didn’t work hard enough at the task.

    But the main reason I am commenting is that today’s blog has “fail fast” applying to recruitment. This is one of the areas where failing fast has to be very, very carefully done because HR/employment law is very prescriptive and you can easily have obligations to people that you underestimate. Anytime I am listening to material from USA on management, I hear “slow to hire, quick to fire”, and wonder what sort of place they are living in. On the other hand we seem to have a lot less mass shootings, so I guess there’s swings and roundabouts.

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