We all get ideas daily, we complain and talk about how we could make something better. But few people treat problems as challenges and do something about it. The responsibility for the organization’s future lies on all employees, not only on the management’s shoulders.

Observe, think, communicate. Check the problems you noticed, your ideas and solutions with potential customers. If you get enough positive feedback, present it – and your passionate story – to your co-workers and the management, and let them know what would be good to do.

If you try to get attention only with “I have an idea”, it isn’t very likely that you’ll succeed. Solving challenges is a lot more than just generating ideas. With ideas, solving the challenge actually only begins.

How to present a new opportunity

When talking to management, which has assets at its disposal, you have to agree on at least three crucial elements:

  • target customer segment,
  • real-life problem you’re solving and
  • the value you would provide for:
    a) customers and
    b) the organization.

If they don’t understand you …

There is a big chance that the management, co-workers and later on clients won’t really understand you, because they don’t think about the thing as much as you do and in the same way. For a bigger impact and more effective communication, help yourself with the techniques also known to startups:

  • Golden Circle – Simon Sinek (about the importance of the answer to the question why)
  • Elevator pitch (an effective one-minute address, meant to attract attention and get an opportunity to tell more)
  • Sequoia pitch (pitch structure that professional investors expect)
  • Kawasaki 10-20-30 (about the presentation structure with 10 points in 20 minutes and font size 30).

Organize a team and select a leader

Every team must have a leader. The leader isn’t necessarily the main author of the idea or innovation. Don’t trouble yourself with the organization. It’s temporary until you find a business model worth investing into. At least at the beginning, work with the smallest possible team, but not too small.

In an ideal case scenario, two to three complementary co-workers are necessary for the stage of researching the problem and potential solutions. Content-wise, they cover development (technology), design (user) and marketing (market).

The management should authorize free Fridays

It’s great if company management authorizes free Fridays, to which you will have to add at least two days of work in the afternoons or over the weekend. Otherwise, it just won’t work or it will take too long.

The point of lean development is to systematically get rid of uncertainties, and not just any. The most uncertain assumptions with the biggest impact take priority. Confirm or reject those first. Go out of the building. Take enough time for the markets and face-to-face contact with customers. Don’t hire external colleagues to verify problems and solutions.

Time is worth more than money

The success of every team depends on the time you manage to invest into discovering problems and designing solutions. Remove everything that takes time and energy away from faster work on your internal startup project. Don’t start new things without thinking them over and deciding what you will stop doing or what you will give up. Your time is worth more than money. There will often be no second chance.

Work with your colleagues

Be a small consumer who makes the most out of the freely available resources in their organization. Regularly communicate and collaborate with other departments, and don’t be afraid of different opinions. Involve the management, co-workers, customers, business partners, the public. Others’ experiences are a very important shortcut for your own experiences. And especially, why would you reinvent the wheel, racking your brains and reaching dead ends because of a problem that someone else can solve quickly and effectively.

Fall in love with the problem, not the solution The secret of your success is falling in love with a problem worth solving. If you fall in love with the right problem, you will also find the right solution for it. Meanwhile, the owners of the problem will return your love sooner or later, and start paying for the solutions.