How to Validate an Idea with Colleagues

by Joseph Kennedy

It’s a mistake to not share your creative ideas with your colleagues and tell them about what you’re planning. However, you don’t need to put all of your cards on the table. If the problem you’ve identified is in the workplace, there’s no doubt going to be some stakeholders who will want to talk to you about the problem and work together in finding a solution.


"My peers and colleagues inspire me." - Robin Chase


Knowing who to talk to is important

You might want to talk to the people who are part of the problem (although you might not want to directly call them a problem). You might want to talk to the people the problem impacts. You might actually want to talk to every single stakeholder who is involved in the problem.


What do you want to say to them?

Defining the issue is key to solving it. Go deep, ask why, what, where, how, and all sorts of open-ended questions that explore the issue. Discuss the problem with your colleague, and then, when you’re ready, introduce the ‘what if there was a supplier or service, or a product, that did this and that?’. The colleague might say that some of the solutions wouldn’t work, they might like other parts, and they might have questions about the capabilities of your idea. This research is invaluable.


Sense their interest and excitement

You won’t know whether an idea is going to support those in a similar position to you until they express their support and excitement for it. If they are flat, or slightly lukewarm about the idea, you might need to go back to the drawing board. For this reason alone, talking to your colleagues and getting your idea professionally validated is essential. Keep asking questions to get closer to the solution, following tangents where they appear to be more excited.


Once you’re on the right tracks...

It’s time to meet with other stakeholders who are also involved in the problem. You can put an official meeting together, or simply grab a coffee or lunch together and talk about the problem. Explore it in further detail, gather their ideas, hear out their opinions. Ask them what they would do if they had a magic solution wand that could bring about a perfect fix.


Mark Shayler and Daniel O'Connor are hosting a webinar on how to validate your ideas. We will take you through it, help you validate ideas and have a Q&A.  More info and register below. 

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