Free your Idea Monkey!

Michael Maddock believes most business teams include Idea Monkeys - the wildly creative people, and (Ring)leaders - the operators who provide structure. Balancing the two means your business will produce great ideas and, crucially, make those ideas happen

Are you an Idea Monkey or a (Ring)leader? Idea Monkeys are often the centre of attention. They can produce hundreds of new ideas before lunch. They are upbeat, remarkably talented, and all too often a major pain to rein in. (Ring)leaders are the special few who know how to manage the Idea Monkeys. They execute with precision. They make companies money. The best have learned to focus the Idea Monkeys on what matters most.

When you think about Idea Monkeys, many famous names come to mind – Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Walt Disney. But it turns out that in business, (Ring)leaders, although not as famous, are just as important.

Successful companies have mastered the essential balance between the creative ideas people and the focused, operation-minded people; between the Walt and Roy Disneys. Leaders who know how to strike this balance not only have a highly functioning culture, they can get new products to market with amazing efficiency.

The secret is to create a culture that knows how to focus on the few things that matter most. The goal is to have leaders who know how to get Idea Monkeys and (Ring)leaders working together in a direct, trusting way that amplifies the strengths and minimises the weaknesses of both parties.  

Three essential reasons why this balance is critical:

So you can work your magic… to free you and other Idea Monkeys up to focus your super hero creator energy and passion for thinking big and doing big things

So you can be more profitable… to help you drive out the chaos, not the creativity (high performance people need a high performance environment – chaos is limiting, inefficient and gets in their way)

So you can stop feeling guilty… to help you minimise the impact of your weaknesses (on the organisation). Most creators need help with consistency and follow-through to create a sustainable, healthy environment as a result of constructive habits and rhythms 

So Idea Monkey, who is your (Ring)leader? If you don’t have one, find one quickly. Your new partner will make your world a much happier and more productive place.

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK