Test Your Ideas And See Them Fail

Knowing Which Ideas To Keep Or Abandon

The only way to see if your ideas work is to test your ideas and see them fail.

I am on holiday in Orange, New South Wales, Australia and I was transfixed by the crow outside my hotel balcony.

It was looking for twigs to build its nest.  And what I found really interesting was that it didn’t just pick up any twigs. Not even those that were already on the ground.

It had a “better” idea.

Instead of choosing the twigs on the ground, it started breaking off creeper branches on the wall by biting on it. And then letting the broken creeper branches drop to the ground.

And then, what it began doing next was fascinating.

It flew down to where the branches dropped and started testing them one by one for strength.  How?

By breaking them!

If she can break them, she didn’t want them.  Turned out, none of the creeper branches survived the test. Its great idea had failed spectacularly! It soon got disinterested and flew off.

I thought that was the last I would see of her.  Well, I was wrong.

A few minutes later, it flew back!  Now, it had gotten interested in the twigs that were originally on the ground.

She had discovered a “new” idea.

These twigs on the ground have become especially interesting to her.  And to my surprise, she went on and started performing the same strength test on these new twigs.  And this time round, the twigs passed the test.

Finally! She had found what she needed.  She picked up all the tested twigs in its beak.  A bunch of them actually.  And flew off.

All this happened in under 5 minutes. Unexpectedly, I have learnt a life lesson.

Ideas not tested out will remain forever as ideas.

Think about this.  How often have we had all those ideas only to see someone else tried them out and made them worked.  As a result, our ideas never see daylight, and we never got credit for them.  “But, but, I thought of them first!”, you told yourself.   However, it really didn’t matter. What mattered is who tested out those ideas first.

The only way you know if your ideas are good or bad is by testing them out.  Only then can you know which ones to keep, which to abandon. And which ones worked.

Just like the crow did.

Kim Pong is the CEO and Founder of StrengthsAsia, Creator of the REFRAME MasterClass and the first 20 Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches in the world.  He is based in Singapore and works with organizations in Asia in creating an engaged workplace culture for leaders, managers and executives to thrive.

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