Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Ideas, Execution, and Me

Gary Vaynerchuk
"Ideas are nice but execution is the game

Earlier this week I tossed up a post with three things that have stuck with my since Big Omaha 2011. These aren't just little notes I have, but things that I've really internalized and have changed the way I work and live. One of those things was stated by Gary Vaynerchuk, "ideas are nice but execution is the game". I'd like to explore how I've built on that statement over the past year.

In my roll as the Technical Director at Christ Community Church I work with a lot of ideas. Some of are mine, many of them come from others. Some are executed well, and others never make it off the ground. Whether it's in a weekly creative meeting or simply over lunch, ideas get tossed around all the time. As I left Big Omaha 2011 I was challenged by this statement to really be intentional about execution and not just ideas. That's not to minimize the importance of quality ideas, but I needed to be encouraged towards the importance of execution. I needed to be intentional about getting off my butt and driving execution instead of getting lost in brainstorming.

Fast forward about six months. Towards the end of 2011 I read a book that has influenced me in an incredible way called "The Accidental Creative". This book is top notch information on creating and executing ideas. The author, Todd Henry, continues in the same vein as Gary stressing the importance of getting things done with excellence. Great ideas are worth nothing without great execution. Good ideas can become great with excellent execution. Execution matters.

As I've grown over the past twelve months I've come to value ideas less and execution more. That is, I still find value in ideas, I just realize that they are a smaller part of the equation. If you can't make it happen it's worth very little. Value is created with execution, not ideas. That's the game we're in. As Vaynerchuk states, it's a game of execution and deliverables, not simply one of idea generation.

Over the past year I've specifically learned:

1. Creativity needs structure.
2. Don't let the size of an idea scare you. Jump in and start with small steps.
3. Great execution happens one step at a time.
4. Everyone has ideas. Few people can execute.
5. Idea planning and clarity matter, but execution often needs "field engineering".
6. If at all possible, it's best for the person who created the idea to own the execution.
7. Value is often created in execution (if you have a few good ideas, pick one and make it happen).

So what have I executed over the past twelve months? Here are a few things:
1. This very blog is a new idea of mine that I've recently executed.
2. I created and produced the creative piece for our Easter service this year.
3. I helped create and execute our online campus at Christ Community (Robert Murphy was lead).
4. I've reorganized around Google Products in the last year.
5. I designed and led the installation of a multi-venue HD video upgrade project.
6. I designed and led the installation of our Christmas stage set.

I've been working hard at identifying and executing great ideas. I want to be seen as a content creator that adds value, not simply an "idea guy".  Those that can effectively execute will win the day.

Excellence Can Be Fun

Big Omaha 2011 Moments