Ideas are like gliders

Ideas are like gliders.

They can fly, and go far –they just need a little push, a high starting point, and a little bit of wind. 🌬️

Even the best ideas don’t win on their own merits.

Spencer Silver, one of the 3M employees who invented the Post-It note 🟨, had a nickname within the company. They called him “Mr. Persistent.”  He refused to give up on an idea 💡 he believed in.

Silver had been *trying* to create a new adhesive for aviation ✈.

Instead, he created a weird adhesive 🧪 that could be applied and removed without leaving a residue.

“It was a [brilliant] solution to a problem that did not [yet] exist.”

That’s what organizational thought leadership does: it sees around corners. It finds insights that advance our companies into the future, and make them a better place to work.

But it doesn’t all happen at once.

Silver spent years giving seminars across 3M about this weird glue.
He hoped one of the product managers would see a use for it.

What thought leadership lessons can we learn?

🔬 Silver chose to see the weird glue as an opportunity rather than a failed experiment.
📢 He chose to share his “failure” with others.
💡 He asked people to help amplify his idea.

I’m reminded of a great quote by John Doerr. “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything. It takes a team to win.”

I’ve relied on Post-It notes 🟨 for hundreds of work sessions during my career. Maybe you have too.

And I think a little bit about OrgTL every time.

I write about:
#ThoughtLeadership, OrgTL, and #Brand