I recently heard Frank Blake (former CEO of Home Depot) discussing the significance of this equation for ‘getting things done’ in an organisation.
q = the quality of an idea
a = the acceptance of the idea
e = the effectiveness of the idea
What struck me most was this seemingly simple equation is that the acceptance factor is a mulitplier. This makes it the key to success.
A low level of acceptance for a high quality idea yields low effectiveness; a high level of acceptance for a low level idea may yield more effectiveness. Of course a combination of high/high is ideal.
As I ruminated on a couple of recent examples from work, it dawned on me that we are tempted to spend most of our time and energy on polishing the idea, to refine it, make it shiny and neat. However the return on investment would be far greater if some (most?) of that effort was put in to improving the acceptance of the idea – listening, adjusting, telling the story, selling the story.
Getting this equation right could be a game-changer, but first it must be a habit changer – and that isn’t as easy as abc or qae!