Ideas are a dime a dozen. Turning them into a results-producing wellness service is the bigger challenge. Here’s a straightforward approach to get your idea off the ground (or bury it if needed):
Put it through a stress test. Understanding what’s wrong with your idea is the most important first step. With that in mind, recruit 6 or more critical thinkers — professionals who will give you honest feedback.
Pull together the talent needed to build it. You’re looking for at least 3 people who share the same passion for the idea as you and bring different skills to the group. Among the talents you’ll need are someone who thrives on the fine details, a deal- maker, and a strategic thinker.
Outline your game plan. What are you going to do? Why? What will it produce for the organization? How? When? How much will it cost? Who can make it happen? How will you promote it? What are your goals? Your game plan helps sell the idea and gives you a compass for moving ahead. Be prepared to change it, though — and often if it’s a really big idea.
Give it a name. Whether it’s a new wellness program, service you want to add, or product you want to sell, come up with a handle to make it stick. Keep it simple, easy to remember, and as descriptive as possible.
Create a prototype. This is where you start to see for the first time if your idea really has legs. Create an aspect of the product or service that can be shared with a dozen or more potential users. You should see some consistent feedback at this point. If the response is all over the board, you have more work to do.
Put the support in place. Make sure you’ve thought through best and worst case scenarios so there are no bottlenecks when it comes to delivering on your promise.
Build the beta and refine. Armed with the feedback from prototype testing, build a beta version of the service or product. It’s tempting to skip this step — particularly if prototype feedback was largely positive — and go right to launch... don’t. Until you work with the service or product
in the real world, with real users, accessing it in a noncontrolled setting, you’ll miss many of the bugs. Make it clear to all that you’re in the beta phase and you want suggestions for making it better.
Launch it. Once you’ve worked out the bugs, revisit your game plan to be sure you’ve addressed all vital components of the idea. When everything is crossed off, you’re ready to fire up the engines and take off.
Create an ongoing advisory group. If the service or product is significant in terms of time, talent, and dollars, you’ll want a group to meet with quarterly and check progress.