Who’s Responsible for Implementing New Ideas?

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Dear Bev,

We have a great team of young people in our firm (mid 20s to early 40s) who are hungry to make a difference and really care about our clients. They have great ideas to implement a responsive service model, to be proactive about communication, to offer clients extended products and services and much more. I respect their enthusiasm quite a bit and I want to support them.

Whenever the ideas are raised, however, there is no associated plan. I find myself pointing out that idea generation is the easy part; the harder part is figuring out what exactly we need to do, who is going to do it and how it is going to be implemented given other priorities on the plate.

This becomes a problem because I have had it come back to me that we, as the senior management team, don’t embrace the new ideas and don’t give them the credit they deserve for having such thoughtful and insightful ideas. Much of what they raise is excellent thinking and I do believe we could implement some, if not all, of the ideas. I simply do not want to be the person who figures out what to do and how we do it!

I have run this business for 13 years and my life is all about making decisions. I think it’s enough to give everyone the platform and let them fly from there. Is this unreasonable of me? Am I missing an opportunity to make a difference and show them I care about what they are raising? Am I getting old and disinterested in change?