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  • Writer's pictureSophia Chin

The Three Critical Steps to Make Ideas Happen

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Have you ever had a bad customer experience and you thought: "Damn it, someone should do something about this!"?

If you have, then congratulations! You have just given birth to an idea.

The best businesses come out of frustration. Steve couldn't afford to buy a computer so he built his own. A homesick Tony was furious why flights had to be so expensive, so he created his own airline.

If you can see how things can be better, then you have an idea that could turn into a multi-billion dollar business just like Steve Jobs and Tony Fernandes.

At your best, you are a powerful force of positive change: driven, conscientious and highly motivated to make the world a better place. You are ambitious, but your ambition is not self-serving: rather, you feel personally responsible for making the world a better place. This drive gives you the tremendous potential to make a difference.

Now, what's the catch?

This positive change does not fulfil itself. You have to fight to unleash it. What stands between a good idea and a successful one is consistent relentless execution. To make your ideas happen. You will fight a thousand battles - a thousand questions that need to be answered. And you don't even know what these questions are. It's like staring at a blank piece of paper. You will face great uncertainty. You will be defeated. Many times. Some defeats will seem entirely devastating, what VC investor Ben Horowitz refers to WFIO (pronounced whiff-eee-o) moments: "We're Fucked; It's Over".

I’m not just talking about entrepreneurs. This also applies to brave corporate executives doing new things in large global organisations, like Apple launching iTunes in China.

At PERSONNA, we are on a mission to empower organisations and individuals to make ideas happen. We're obsessed with the question "How do you make ideas happen? How do you create a multi-million dollar business from that germ of an idea? What are the techniques and tactics? Can you do this inside a large organisation?"

After four exhaustive years of interviewing successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, and hundreds of prototyping, we came to a conclusion: There is no simple answer. Sorry guys, we failed at inventing the Maggi Mee for business - just add hot water and ready to succeed. We thought of creating "The thousand questions every business person needs to ask", but every business is different. There are many diverse paths, multiple elements and many traps along the way. Besides, we know that you'll never read it anyway ;-P

We don’t have the whole answer, but we noticed that all those great businesses started with a well-validated idea which provided the north star for the long and arduous battles ahead. Give your ideas a fighting chance to succeed. Here are three steps to make ideas happen:

Define your idea: how are you going to make things better? Writing it down provides you with clarity. Clarity dissolves resistance. Things start to look real when they get onto paper. It's also easier to refine your ideas as you gather more feedback.

Share your idea internally and externally and get as much feedback as you can. Talk to your customers and industry experts. If you know what customers really want, you’ll have a greater chance of creating success. Get advice from your bosses, your team and key stakeholders. They bring new perspectives and can see more potential in your idea than you can see by yourself. They can also see potential pitfalls before you step into them. The fastest and leanest way to share your ideas and get feedback is through meetings and speaking engagements.

To find the winning idea, test it, again and again, tweaking and adjusting until you hit the jackpot. Keep punching through until you get business impact. Start with small experiments, build a minimum viable product. Measure the success, learn from the experience and continue to grow.

If you don't validate your idea, you may end up building a product that nobody wants.

All this is not rocket science. You already know this. But what stops most people is time. You are already operating at full capacity. Where do you find the time and mental space to turn that idea into reality?

We created the Fight Club Challenge to help busy executives test and validate their ideas in 6 months. Tell us about your next big idea. Let us help you build it, organise it and turn them into super-compelling tools that you can use to test and validate your ideas.

You can be that genius innovator turning your good ideas into a great business. You know it’s the right thing to do. No one else can decide for you. Some will even try to stop you. It's a choice to make it happen.

We can’t fight Muhammad Ali for you, but we’re in your corner to support you through the journey. Are you ready to step into the ring?

Please share your comments. I'll love to hear what you think.

If you like reading more about leadership and change, join our newsletter, stay inspired here.


PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

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