How to Uncover Your Big, Sexy Breakthrough Idea

content creation Jan 14, 2020

All thought leaders have a big breakthrough idea that they contribute to global conversation. Brené Brown is known for her contributions of our understanding of "shame and vulnerability." Marcus Buckingham brought "strengths" to our awareness. Daniel Goldman did the same with emotional intelligence. Simon Sinek - your "why", Donald Miller - "story brand" and the list goes on.

What's A Big Breakthrough Idea?

At the core of what you do isn't your methods or techniques. It's not your certifications in different tools either.  It's your stance. Simply put, your stance is your position or point of view on how to create essential change or transformation in an individual or a group of individuals.

There are three parts of your stance:

  1. What's the ideal state - what does individual and/organization health look like
  2. What has gone wrong - why don't people live that ideal state
  3. What is the best way to fix the gap

Defining The Ideal State

The following questions can be used as thought-starters to help you answer this fundamental question:  What needs to be in place in order for an organization or an individual to be working at maximum effectiveness?

  • Human nature:
    • Do I believe people are essentially good or bad?
    • Do people want to work or do they have no ambition on their own?
    • Do people have a little or a great deal of capacity for solving problems?
    • Are people motivated by comfort or purpose?
  • Work:
    • Do people find work inherently distasteful or natural?
    • Is there a higher purpose for work beyond even accomplishing the results of is it all there is? 
  • Power:
    • What is the definition of power? Is power about who has the right job? 
    • Is power finite or unlimited? Should it be held or shared?
  • Role of Leadership:
    • Should it provide control and expect compliance or promote accountability and choice?
  • Role of Employees
    • Should they be required to comply or act on their own authority?
  • Specific to my area of expertise
    • Based on my area of expertise, what defines organizational and/or individual health?

Bottom line: What does it look like when individuals and/or organizations are healthy?

Defining the Core Problem

Why don't individuals or organizations experience the health that they are intended for?

Think through your beliefs around what has gone wrong. 

  • What's in the way of individual and/or collective health?
  • What "villain" has entered the story to rob the world of their mythical Eden?
  • What is this "villain" intending to destroy?
  • Why does this "villain" want to destroy it?

Bottom line: Why don't individuals or organizations live up to their design and/or potential?

Defining your Solution

Your solution has two parts - the solution that is required in order to return to the ideal state and what you personally can offer to accelerate that return.

So first think through broadly - what needs to happen in order for the ideal state to be restored?

Then dial it in:

  • What beliefs and/or behaviors and by who need to change?
  • What needs to happen in order for the beliefs and/or behaviors to change?
  • What resistance will present itself along the way?
  • What support will be needed to transform the beliefs and behaviors that are required? By whom?

Then tap into your role in this process:

  • Why do you care about this gap between the ideal and current state?
  • What's it to you if it gets solved or remains unresolved?
  • Who do you want to help in this process? What?
  • How do you want to help? 
  • If you help, what value or outcome will be created (vs. if you weren't involved at all)?

Pulling It Together

If you unpack any major idea that is game changing - from thought leadership through spirituality - you'll find this formula at the core. 

  • Brené Brown's ideal state is a world of authentic connection. What went wrong is the un-acknowledged and misunderstood experience of shame. The solution is vulnerability created through bravery and sharing our stories with safe people. 
  • For Buddhists - the ideal state is life without suffering. Suffering is caused by attachment - the desire to have and control things. Nirvana is possible when the mind can be freed from attachment. 
  • For Christians - the ideal state is Eden, the world before the Fall when humans and God lived in harmony. The problem is sin that separates humans from God. The connection is restored through Jesus' death on the cross.

What's your big idea? How will it change the world?

Up-Leveling The Importance of Your Big Breakthrough Idea

Sure, there's a business case for you to uncover your big idea. The more clear you are on this, the stronger your positioning will be in the marketplace. You'll stand out, attract higher caliber clients and be able to charge premium fees.

But I would encourage you to consider those as small benefits compared to the larger issue that is at stake. There is a perspective and business that only you are to manifest in the world that will make a difference. As a spiritual integrationist and modern mystic, I believe that there is powerful truth that cuts across all belief systems and that the belief systems all work together as a beautiful mosaic. We need them all if we are to experience cosmic reality and foundational truth. 

The world needs YOUR unique perspective on business and on life. Something important will be missing from our collective understanding on what the ideal world can truly be and how to return to what is possible for all of us. 

Figuring this out isn't an act of selfishness or pride. It's an act of public service.

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