The beginning of something wonderful is, well, the beginning. Bob had a tremendous proposal for the community, but all he did was invite a few people to a meeting to discuss it. Allen wanted to establish a new business, so he set up coffees and lunches with people who could help him learn every day. Setting aside time each day to walk around and listen was Cynthia’s first move in changing the culture of the contact center where she worked. Lindsay’s initial move in modifying processes in her neonatal intensive care unit was to bring fresh information to her team meetings as a nurse.
None of these initial actions are difficult. It’s because the first step wasn’t meant to be the last destination. It was simply a means of getting started and moving forward.
I discovered that those who initiate change are incrementalists throughout my research for my book, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life. They understand that progress occurs and grows, but they must first begin—even if the first step is modest.
I’ve had numerous discussions with individuals about their concept for a shift, or what I refer to as a wave. I always encourage people to try new things and learn new things in order to take the first step. The most difficult aspect is getting started.
What’s the state of your wave? What’s the best way to get started?
Here are a few easy ideas to assist you to come up with the correct first step:
1) Set Up Three Meetings With Intelligent People.
Speak with people who are knowledgeable about what you wish to do. Pose inquiries. Listen. Don’t make any firm plans just yet. Good conversations can aid in your creation.
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2) Read a Few Books That Challenge Your Assumptions.
Consider a book to be a springboard for ideas rather than a bible on your subject. Rich Sheridan got the idea for Menlo Innovations after he started reading books on innovative business models and design. A fresh concept arose. Host a discussion with experienced professionals.
Make a time for a discussion of your thoughts and ask others who can help for an hour or two of their time.
3) Begin Keeping Track of Your Ideas in a Notepad.
Begin gathering information and ideas for your new business, product, or non-profit organization. Creating a file for inspiration and writing down your thoughts might assist your ideas to develop and expand. Tell someone you trust about what you’ve learned.
4) Go on a YouTube Binge-Watching Spree.
You can listen to practically any speaker on almost any topic thanks to TED Talks and thousands of other presentations. Make your own private viewing area. Take notes and write down key elements that will aid in the development of your ideas. Decide how you’ll put your main points into action.
5) Arrange For a Shadow Day.
If you want to establish a business or expand a non-profit, identify someone who has done it before and ask if you may shadow them for a day to learn more about what they do.
6) Define Your Vision and the Influence You Want to Have.
Answer the question, “What will happen when you discover your change?” What effect will it have? Don’t worry if you don’t know what your aims and objectives are yet. It’s too early for you to do so. However, you should be aware of your motivation.
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7) Choose a Short Experiment to Conduct.
Find a tiny approach to experiment with your concept. If you have a fresh product concept, make a few prototypes to test how it works. Start a blog to practice writing and learn about new topics if you intend to publish a book. A good experiment will answer questions, so make a list of them ahead of time. Allow the results of your experiment to guide your long-term decisions.
8) Make a List of Your “Must-Haves,” Including Financial Information.
This, I believe, is the most frequently ignored phase. Your “must-haves” set limits for you. Questions include, “Are you able to invest in the company?” and “What are your minimum earnings and for how long?” Make sure you understand your idea’s minimum requirements.
9) Make a Matrix of Possibilities.
List all of your must haves’ in the left column. Write down all of the viable choices you’ve come up with for getting started across the top row. Compare each alternative to your must-haves. While this will not provide you with the answer, it will allow you to compare options and eliminate options that will not bring you where you want to go.
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10) Choose the One That is the Most Appropriate Starting Point and Get Started.
It hasn’t been done before in quite this way when you’re starting a wave. Expect the unexpected and accept that you will not have all of the answers right now. Find a way to get started and keep going.
“Motion produces motion,” stated Brett Hurt, co-creator of Bazaarvoice. “Momentum breeds more momentum.”