Bronko Construction recently completed its initial helping heroes project, touching the life of a local veteran. Volunteers teamed with sponsor L.J. Wertalik, owner of Capstar Properties, to replace sink faucets in the bathroom and kitchen. They also unclogged the trap for the kitchen sink.
A simple idea based on the experiences and passions of caring people was transformed into a meaningful action, making a difference in the life of a person in need. This example raises the question of how a good thought becomes an agent of impact.
Stephen Hoover, CEO of PARC, a Xerox company, was interviewed by business site Fast Company. During a discussion centered on moving a product from idea to innovation he made two important points vital to your project or personal ministry.
When asked what a big company can learn from a start-up, Hoover replied, “Compared to big companies, startups have the advantage of no ‘legacy,’ which means you don’t have to worry about disrupting your own business model or changing skillsets.”
He went on to mention the ability of a startup to “pivot rapidly” to changing needs in its marketplace. A large organization is less able to change direction due to organizational momentum and customer expectations.
In most cases your personal undertakings are by definition individualized and small. You are able to achieve things a corporation or governmental agency cannot. You can react to a need in your community requiring your skills and passions. In most cases no board of directors or bureaucratic committee serves as a roadblock. If your passion is baking bread and you see a hungry family you are able to solve a need as quickly as it takes to warm your oven.
Hoover discussed how to move an innovative idea from the drawing board to implementation. He said, “there’s a tendency for all of us to glorify the ideation process when in fact it’s the reduction to practice that’s perhaps more important.” In his organization they achieve this through taking note of the latest trends, finding new business models, and discovering “what people actually do and want and need, not just what they say they do.” Through this the idea will be able generate an impact and improve profitability.
Paul presents a similar argument to Timothy when he refers to those with an ability to meet the needs of others, “to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” Doing good and helping are concrete action oriented terms speaking to meeting the immediate needs of others. For most of us this will include using the gifts we hold to fill a deficit in the life of an individual or neighborhood.
These thoughts taken together might make the perfect business charter for your project or personal ministry.
- Find what people actually do and want and need in your community.
- Be ready to pivot rapidly to meet that need.
- Reduce your idea to practice as quickly as possible.
You want to make a difference, to leave a positive legacy, and improve the lives of those in your community. You have skills, abilities, and passions needed by others. How to move those pieces forward into meaningful actions requires an innovators perspective. Consider the discussion above as your idea becomes an agent of impact.