Tamsen Webster on Finding Your Red Thread


October 26, 2021

When we have an idea we’re passionate about, excitement radiates from us. Sometimes, all that enthusiasm makes it hard to articulate why it’s so brilliant and why others should think so, too. This can be super frustrating. It also puts your whole idea at risk for getting left on the cutting room floor before it ever has a chance to see the light of day.

Tamsen Webster helps people drive action from their ideas by creating messages that tell that bigger story about the importance of the idea. She also helps people make the difference they want to make in the world.

Finding your “Red Thread” is all about crafting the main message of your idea. What’s the big picture? What is the one takeaway you want people to grab from the long-winded version you have in your mind? Tamsen’s tactics can help you learn how to connect the dots between the vision in your head and the perception people have of your idea.

Top three takeaways from my conversation with Tamsen Webster

Learn to tell your story in a short, succinct way. “People have short attention spans when it comes to spoken words. We’re bombarded by information all the time. We make split-second decisions about whether or not to keep paying attention to someone. You really need to be clear on what you’re about, and what the big idea is. And you have to do it in a way that both satisfies that curiosity and answers the question.

Remember that not everyone knows your idea as well as you. “We know so much about our ideas that we forget that people are 10 steps behind. We know that they don’t know. There’s a fairly famous quote: “You don’t actually know what you know until you try to write it down.” We know our ideas like the neighborhoods we grew up in. We forget that people who are new to it are like foreign visitors to that land. You can’t give local focus directions to a foreign visitor, and you can’t do that with your idea either.

There’s a key difference between your idea and your message. “Your idea is that big, beautiful, nuanced thing that you could talk about in a million different ways. But the message is how you choose to talk about it to a particular audience to achieve a particular outcome. There isn’t one message to rule them all. If you want to make sure that you talk about your idea as effectively as possible, anchor your message to the audience and what they actively want right now.

Want to learn more about how to get the full potential out of your ideas? Watch our full conversation to find your red thread.


About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.