How local leaders and officials can become Venture Capitalists of New Ideas

We’re living through a shift in power, to one that is more open to participation by people outside of our formal organization. 

For local leaders and officials, it’s hard to imagine how this will work, being more open to ideas from outside the leadership. How you can protect your community from failure while being open to new ideas?

We have a simple way of thinking that can help. Think of yourself as the Venture Capitalists of New Ideas. 

What do Venture Capitalists do? A really simple view of it is they find out about as many new ideas as they can, but they don’t invest in them all. They’re more likely to encourage entrepreneurs and help them build their networks than to invest money in their businesses. They only invest in business ideas that are working well in early tests. 

You can adapt that mindset: 

Find out everything that’s going on, and not just entrepreneurial ideas but all kinds of things people are doing for your community. Publicly ask people what new ideas they’re working on. 

Encourage all of them. Help them Build Connections from your extensive network of resources. 

And then invest your limited resources only in the ideas that are doing well in testing. 

This is freeing for officials. You can refocus how you listen to people.

You become resources for people with ideas, instead of just listening and not being able to act upon it.

Local elected and appointed leaders can learn more practical steps in our video: Idea Friendly Officials and Boards. Learn the Idea Friendly secrets to:

  • Look at a new way to see your role as an official, one that puts you in the center of the network
  • Discover your superpower as an official and put your connections to work for you
  • Turn public gripe sessions into crowdsourcing events that mobilize people into action
  • Learn the one question that turns even bad ideas into something positive