“March Madness” is the period of the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, with the majority of the competition set in March. Fans and followers use a visual chart as a decision tool to track team plays and statistics throughout the tournament. The tool identifies team pairings as brackets that show who plays whom at each stage of tournament progress. Such an organized chart is effective as a visual tool for keeping track of the details involved in deciding on which teams to focus as the winners of each round of play winnow down to the final championship team.

We can use a similar tool for deciding on which of our ideas to focus our energy! This tool is most effective for making decisions between dis-similar ideas for short-term implementation.

Here’s how it works. DOWNLOAD “DECISION TOOL: ‘Idea Madness’ Bracket Chart” HERE:


Identify multiple ideas you have on which you’re contemplating taking action, yet only have time or other resources for acting on one in the immediate future.

a. Place your first idea in the first box in the farthest left-hand column of the chart. Place a “+” sign after your idea. Write your same idea in the second box below the first and place a “-” sign after your idea. You should now have your first idea in the first two boxes in the left column with the only difference being the plus and minus signs in the boxes. Continue with this pattern for each of your dis-similar ideas in the boxes in the far-left, then the far-right columns.

b. Now return to the first idea and look only at that idea for now. In the “+” box for that idea, list the details you consider to be positives about the idea. List the negatives in the “-” box. Do the same for each of the ideas you’ve listed, considering only each idea within itself for now.

c. Next, return to the first idea and examine your positives and negatives. Decide which “wins” in terms of whether or not this idea is viable to continue considering for your short-term focus. Place your decision – the positives or the negatives “winning” – in the box to the right of the +/- pairing. Do the same for each of your idea pairings. For the ones listed in the far-right column of boxes, move towards the left.

d. With your +/- decisions made about each of your ideas, now compare the pairings of dis-similar ideas in the second columns and decide which “wins” in terms of on which of the two deserves your focus for near-term results. Remember that this process is best for short-term implementation rather than long-term considerations.

e. Continue this decision process as you move towards the center of the chart. Your final decision as you compare each pairing of dis-similar ideas will be in the center of the chart. That will be the idea on which you’ve decided to focus your energy and resources in the short term.

See the example I’ve included on the second page of the worksheet. This is an example of someone deciding on which product to focus her network marketing team for the next 30 days for a sales contest. Share this tool and process with your team and with others whose success you care about, and invite them to get their own Idea Success Notes @ IdeaSuccessNetwork.com, so they don’t miss a single issue. Who knows which nugget will make the difference in getting their ideas out of their heads and into action, changing their lives!

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson, Founder of the Idea Success Network, helps individuals and teams reveal the power of their ideas and position their ideas for profit. Using her IMPACT© collaborative discovery & accountability process she provides a comprehensive set of services to help you convert your concepts to cash. Author of “Hey, That’s My Idea!” and other infoproducts, and host of a cable TV program, Sylvia gets you to realize and take action on your own “a-ha’s!” to make a difference in your life. Get tips & strategies that help you implement your ideas, and connect with Sylvia at www.IdeaSuccessNetwork.com.