Building Momentum Through Ideation


As leaders, we often want to affect change in a given situation or when faced with a problem, and we need the help of others to achieve this. We have ideas which we try to articulate, with varying degrees of success. An attempt that doesn’t land can be frustrating and demotivating for us and time-consuming for others who get distracted with the idea without achieving follow-through.

The trick is to create “momentum” to propel a concept forwards. It occurs when we seed our idea with others, and they buy into it, almost taking it on as their own. They, in turn, package it up and present it on to others in their orbit. It is possible for this same momentum to perpetuate across layers of people. This is how real change can more easily be made.

This becomes liberating for the idea instigator, who then can either further sponsor the original idea, or can be released to simply step away and create something new, creating a new loop of momentum.

Being able to create the concepts that affect change, and then having the confidence to move away from them as they gain momentum, is the essence of moving at great speed and impact as a leader or influencer.

The trick is not to ‘overcook’ or stifle the idea by giving it “too much” attention. It needs room for ownership by all involved. If momentum carries it, via others, it almost becomes a self-driving loop. 

In order for your idea to achieve momentum, follow these steps:

1. Keep it simple.

  • If it is inherently complex, support it with a succinct breakdown of points that simplify the concept.

2. Brief key stakeholders.

  • These are your potential greatest influencers and advocates.
  • Take their questions and feedback, but aim to harmoniously land the idea with them.

3. Suggest to your stakeholders to test and implement the idea, and then ask them to engage others as they deem appropriate.

  • Follow up to get feedback on how this process worked.
  • Were there new considerations raised by others that you hadn’t thought of?  Should these be implemented?

4. Encourage evolution and improvement of the idea.

  • Empower those who have picked up this idea to feel ownership. Nurture a safe space for suggestions and improvement. 

As the creator, it can be rewarding to watch your ideas gain traction organically. For those who are  creative thinkers and good at creating ideas, achieving momentum through impact, making use of idea generating skills will bring vision, guidance and enthusiasm to those that surround you.  

With greater knowledge of this phenomenon we can also develop this practice in others. An innovation-led culture can flourish, spawning more ideas by others, gaining traction with others. The momentum continues at an increasingly rapid pace!

Matt Chapman is founder of ChapmanCG and co-creator of Thrive HR Exchange, where global HR professionals and people leaders come together to co-create the future of work. Through global connections that foster the exchange of knowledge and fuel innovation, members find compassionate support, meaningful connections and diverse best-practice sharing. Thrive HR Exchange empowers the people leaders of today and tomorrow to become agents of change within their industries.


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