I propose we do this...

I will go out on a limb and say that it is very rare that the first idea, first prototype, first draft, or the first of "anything" is also the last — in fact, I will be so bold to say it never happens.


The first of anything will be challenged, torn down and rebuilt, built upon to the point of being unrecognizable, or spur on something else that makes it irrelevant. It can be an uncomfortable process to be sure; both practically and emotionally. My favourite saying to illustrate this is, "Everyone who is first through the wall gets bloody; everyone", and metaphorically speaking the more different your "proposal" is from the norm, the bloodier you will get. And crazier still, it is the only way to progress in anything. 

At the very least it is a reminder that if you aren't uncomfortable you are not moving in the right direction, as well as highlighting the truism that you need to "be comfortable with being uncomfortable". Both very important reminders, but even more importantly, it is a reminder that someone needs to step up and say, "I propose we do this" — be it a new idea, a new way of thinking, or simply a first draft of the thinking around the table. Progress needs a starting point; it needs a champion. A case in point is a presentation for a strategic plan I worked on which had 27 versions in the end — not because the first version was fundamentally wrong, but because we needed a started point to challenge what we had, try to break our thinking, and initiate an iterative process of improvement.  

Anything new needs a Champion to move it forward, protect it, and foster it, as well as work through the natural challenges and pushback that come your way — not always something for the faint of heart, which I suppose, is why they call them Champions.