Which is Better? The Big Idea or the Little Idea?


I’m continually assessing how and why things get done and what it takes to break through to the next level.

I do it all the time for my own business, but also as part of my role as being an advisor/consultant to my clients.

The question of the big idea and the little or small idea and which one is better is really a very intellectual question we all need to think about.

It’s easy to say the big idea is better, but I will argue many times the little idea is better because it can be implemented faster and with less resources.

The result can be the little idea winds up having a better payout than the big idea, which can take months or years and require significant investment.

When we’re developing goals, we tend to overlook the benefit of the little idea.  I’m not sure why we do it, but I believe it’s our tendency to always strive to achieve the truly big accomplishment.

Look around and you can see numerous examples of the little idea trumping the big idea. JCP is a great example. A couple years back, they brought in a new CEO, Ron Johnson, who set out a “big idea” plan to transform the stores.

The result turned out to be a failure for a number of different reasons.  Today, JCP is focused on the little ideas and they’re succeeding — or at least temporarily.

What does it take to win?  My opinion is it takes both — big ideas and little ideas. Most important of all, both the big and the little need to compliment and build on one another.

if you’re focused solely on the little idea, you may achieve success but you’ll never know what you could achieve.  Conversely, if you only focus on the big idea, you could starve to death before achieving success.

The answer, like so many things, is found in the middle of the road.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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1 thought on “Which is Better? The Big Idea or the Little Idea?”

  1. Mark I’m a new subscriber to your email, and finding your ideas helpful.

    The small ideas can be implemented by everyone at every layer of an organization, and as you say be implemented quickly, often times without any leadership approval. It’s really about empowering people and creating the right culture where new ideas are embraced, and the results measured. People don’t just work for a company, they are part of the muscle fiber of the company. As employees grow, so does the company.

    The big ideas must be like a tug-of-war. Just simple awareness of a great big idea is not enough. It takes consensus building and getting everyone pulling in the same direction to get the big ideas successfully implemented. Skip this step and force the big ideas in a tops down approach the human instinct is to resist change. Are they simply holding the rope because the boss is watching, or are they pulling as hard as they can. Leadership matters.

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