“Your idea already exists” (My P&G Story #6)
Seeing marketers (myself included) struggle at retailer meetings sparked a brilliant idea in my mind. I would create a commercial training for brand managers to help them understand how retailers operate and how to best interact with them.
I shared my idea with a few people and they liked it. When I presented it to the commercial director, he said that Jenny, another brand manager, was already working on the same project. My idea would be a duplication of work and duplication of work, naturally, was on P&G’s blacklist.
I was disillusioned. Maybe I wasn’t such a genius after all. I worked hard to improve my idea so it would be better than Jenny’s (or rather, what I imagined her idea to be, since at this stage I didn’t know anything about it).
I had taken a tiny piece of information and created a negative story around it. Without an outlet, the story kept building up. What if her idea was genuinely better? I wanted to talk to her but what if I would give away too much of my idea and she stole it? I wondered how far ahead in the planning she was. Her name popped up in my inbox and my heartbeat rocketed — was she going to announce the launch of what I believed was my idea? In this case, she wasn’t, but what if she did tomorrow, or the following week? I couldn’t live with this anxiety.
This ignited my courage to speak with her. I showed Jenny my work and she loved it! She said she couldn’t wait to attend my commercial training and she would be delighted to help in any way she could. It turned out she was working on something totally different and there was no duplication.
Sigh of relief.
My idea was mine again. I just wished I had spent the previous two months implementing it rather than fighting imaginary battles in my mind.
Get unstuck by clarifying the facts. This may require having an uncomfortable conversation but it’s totally worth it.
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Originally published at desijagger.com on June 28, 2017.