The crazy people who think they can change the world are the ones who actually do that.
Imagine if light bulb wasn’t invented, imagine if wheels were never there, imagine if computers and smartphones were not in existence, imagine if we weren’t blessed with internet today etc. Well, this list goes on and on, and if we try to visualize our world without these things, there would have been an absolute darkness. So, what made the inventors of these things to actually think about those and work in the direction to turn those thoughts into realities when no one else could have even imagined that? The answer is “need”, if there would have been no need or problems/hassles whatsoever, then I doubt these things would have ever been come into existence. In the current scenario as well, there are multiple needs over which we can have initiatives and again the need is to identify those “needs”.
You must be thinking that here the subject is “initiatives” and I am talking about “inventions”, so let me tell you that “initiatives” and “inventions” are very positively correlated terms. Every invention requires initiation and every initiation, if successful, leads to some sort of invention, not necessarily of any object only. In below paragraphs I have tried to pen down the possible stages of any initiative.
Perceiving: When you perceive something, you get an idea or awareness about that, and that idea can pop up from anywhere and can hit any of your senses. It may be the result of your visualization or may come up automatically as well. It is the stage where the ignition of spark happens. You need to identify that spark and ignite that a bit more till it becomes really clear and understandable. Citing the example of online shopping here, the idea would have been whether a virtual market can be created, so that customers can buy stuffs at the comfort of their own home instead of burning lot of hours in departmental stores and still not getting the “best” product they were looking for. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon had some books in his bookshelves which he wanted to sell, so he created an online virtual shopping space to sell his books, after he was successful in doing that, he gradually included more and more stuffs in that online space and today we all know what Amazon is. What a game-changing idea that was. So, getting that awareness is really vital while initiating anything.
Planning: There is a very famous quote, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Future is uncertain, it can’t be predicted with extreme accuracy, but of course the uncertainty can be reduced to a great extent by planning. At the first stage, when you get an idea about anything, it remains in a very raw form, and then the importance of planning increases manifolds. Now the plan needs to be properly formulated and drafted keeping in mind the outcome required of that initiative. Since, it’s an initiative and never been tried earlier, the probability or say risk of failing is drastically high, so one should always have backups plans and also the awareness of the outcome of worst possible case. Taking the example of KFC, Colonel Sanders failed as many as 1009 times before succeeding. So, you can imagine how many backup plans did he have (or how many backup plans did he create), not necessarily those plans need to be implemented at once, but of course there may be situation when the application of these plans may be extremely vital.
Pursuance: Now when the plan is ready, the next step is to pursue that plan and bringing that on to the ground level. Until and unless progress is made at this stage, there is no use of rigorous planning at earlier stage. Start in tranches, don’t try to go full fledged at once, if possible, start with a pilot run to test the waters. If things are going as per the plan then good, but if not, try to make some necessary adjustments. There may be some deviations from the plan and actual implementation, but it does happen, it’s natural sort of thing. Work like beast to bridge the gap between the initial point and termination point (ideally the termination point should be infinity, but to track the periodic growth, setting viable goals are important). Practically, you will be facing way more challenges than you anticipated, and if you go through that, it will make you and your model better and stronger. When you are starting up something which is new, there may be initial hiccups, but then comes in the role of your patience and determination. Remember one thing, “Rome was not built in a day”, so don’t expect overnight success, one has to put in countless sleepless nights to be really successful while initiating something.
At personal level, initiative means the ability to work without always being told what to do. It is a self-management skill, when someone is told to be initiative, it means he solves the problems which others may not have noticed needed solving, and go out of the way to continue learning and growing. People who show initiative demonstrate they can think for themselves and take action when necessary. It means using your head, and having the drive to achieve. This is something which differentiates you from rest of the world, and of course to go somewhere you need to initiate from here.
Change is inevitable, either one has to innovate or adapt, isolation is never an option.