So you’ve come up with an amazing new idea, now it’s time to design, you just need to figure out exactly how it will work.  After all an idea is just a thought bite until you add the detail to it.  Very often it is hard to get from the big crazy idea to something more tangible without losing the magic.

Here are 5 simple tips for getting from the big thought to something you can actually evaluate and then make happen.

  1. identify exactly why your idea is exciting to you, and then make sure you hold onto it as you go through your design process
  2. ask who will be involved, what will be involved in delivering the idea, where and when will it happen to add the first level of detail
  3. identify the assumptions that you are making as part of your design and then test them against all available information
  4. identify the key risks, asking where could it all go wrong and then develop solutions to prevent those things (these solutions form part of your design)
  5. talk to some trusted individuals about your design and get them to play Devil’s Advocate to find the weak spots so that you can strengthen your design

When designing it is easy to get caught in the positive space rather than allowing yourself to become pragmatic and making your design as robust as possible.  Good design requires a balance between the ideal and the real world, hopefully these tips will help you find the balance.

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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.