Ideas are Worthless

Tim Sackett Recruitment Marketing, Smashfly, Tim Sackett

If we, talent acquisition pros and leaders, are now to become ‘marketers’, or at least that is what we are led to believe by most experts in the TA field, creativity then becomes a very valuable skill. Doesn’t it?

I mean let’s face it, the most skilled part of marketing has to be coming up with the creative ideas that make these programs work! Doesn’t it?

I used to think this way. It validated what I thought was one of my valuable skills, being I was somewhat creative, and it seemed like most people would say they weren’t very creative, so I thought it was smart to market that skill.

The longer I spent in my career the more I found out that ideas are like assholes. Everyone has at least one in their life, at all times. Many of us have way more than one!

People like to say they’re not creative because it gives them an out, an excuse, for when their idea sucks, they get to say, “I told you, I’m not creative”, but it doesn’t stop them from having the idea. Most of us just fear sharing our ideas out in the open for all to see, only to have our ideas put down.

Having good, creative ideas will not be a problem you have in 2017 or any year in the future.

The problem you will have in 2017, and for most of your career, will be executing those ideas!

The one failure HR and TA leaders have more than any other has nothing to do with having the ‘right’ idea, it’s not being able to properly execute all the ideas you have. It just so happens that execution is way harder than idea creation!

So, how do you help yourself and your organization with better execution?

1. Pick an idea quickly. Too often we fail because we wait too long for the ‘perfect’ idea. There are a million ways to get done what you need to get done. Just pick one, and move forward.

2. Create an accountable timeline to execute. It’s easy to say you’ll do something then not do it. It’s harder to say you’ll do something, then tell your executives the exact date they can plan on having it done.

3. Ask for help. HR and TA leaders fail more often because they try to do too much on their own. Find the most talented people you can to help you execute your ideas and make sure they sign off on your timeline.

4. Make your idea execution public, up front. Executions fail most often because people that the idea impacts don’t buy into the idea. By making what you do known on the front side, you build in time to make adjustments when you run into roadblocks. Plus, it’s more built-in accountability to complete.

5. Schedule regular communication updates of your execution to your executives. Communicate both good happenings and bad happenings to your execution. Always reminding all parties the end result and why ‘we’ are doing what we are doing.

The best leaders are not the ones with the best ideas. The best leaders in every organization are the ones who can best execute the ideas they are given. Ideas are worthless without proper execution.

FOT Note:  We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. To learn more about SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Automation Software for modern recruiting organizations, please visit the SmashFly website.  

Tim Sackett

If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.