Hard Work...

is what separates great ideas from meaningful outcomes. It's what stands in the way of producing remarkable products and experiences. Without hard work, ideas go nowhere. And, that's precisely why most suggestion boxes don't work.

It's far easier to have a thought and give it to someone else to work on than to see it through on your own. In fact, we've been taught and conditioned to believe that making great things happen is reserved for the select few in high places. And if you want to contribute, you should stuff your thought in a box or send an email, and then hope yours gets chosen. Of course, that convention is seriously flawed because those people only have so much time...and they have their own great ideas they're already focused on. So, the alternative is to do the work yourself.

The upside to taking initiative is that you're more certain of the outcome. The downside is that you could discover that your idea isn't that good. Either way, you win. If the idea gets used, you get credit and the purpose is fulfilled. If it fails, you've avoided resentment by wasting someone's time.

A lot of people have a lot of seemingly great ideas. Great ideas are not scarce. So, on their own, they're not worth much. But, people who take the initiative to slog through the hard work, get organized, do research, build a case and present to the right audience...those people are very hard to come by and have tremendous value.

The best advice I ever received on this subject...worry less about surrounding yourself with people with great ideas and more about building a team of people who can see them through.