Three Keys to Make a Good Idea Great

This past weekend was the Boy Scouts' Scouting For Food weekend project. The boys spent the prior weekend distributing bags to homes in our area requesting canned good donations. This weekend, we went back and picked them up again. Boy Scouts Doodle

© Lorelyn Medina -

Spending so much time studying good Entreleadership principles, must be having some effect on me, because midway through our walking tour of a nearby subdivision, I had a Eureka Moment.

What if next year, we got a batch of doorknob hangers and had them printed with a "Thank you" message? Even had some of the younger kids sign them in a barely legible scrawl to increase the "awwww" factor?

Might you be more willing to give again if your next trip to the mailbox included the discovery of a note left behind expressing gratitude?

I shared this idea with some of my colleagues. And of course, they had to put their own spin on it and add some of their own input

Which means my great idea is now a horrible mishmash of bad follow-on ideas. Right?

Wrong. My good idea has become a great one.

Here's the three critical steps to taking your initial good idea and making it great:

  1. Share it. Tell it to others who have a willingness to listen and a history of being positive about others' ideas and contributions.
  2. Listen to feedback. You have to be open to whatever feedback you're going to get. You may not like it, but it's critical that you listen. Anything you don't like that you hear more than once or twice is probably something you really need to look at.
  3. Incorporate the best contributions judiciously. Apply your judgement and figure out which contributed ideas are going to lead to improvements and which wouldn't.

In my case, we expanded my original idea to include the phrase, "Thanks for your donation" so that donors might be able to use the thank-you as a receipt for tax purposes if they wish. We're going to contact several area restaurants with a history of philanthropy to see if they're interested in contributing free sandwich coupons for us to attach or make part of the design. And we're going to try to find a vendor willing to pay for the printing & cutting in exchange for their name or logo on the hangers as a sponsor of the pack.

How have you experienced the blossoming of a good idea into something beyond your imagination through the contributions of others? Tell us about it in the comments below!