The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities.
This also holds true for you.
This blog is a fun formula for fixing your problems while at the same time creating incredibly powerful startups.
I recently keynoted for a group of hospital CEOs.
For good reason, they are really concerned about their future. Their industry is ripe for disruption by a variety of exponential technologies.
Today's hospitals tend to be overly bureaucratic, inefficient, slow moving, expensive, confusing, and old-school in their processes and procedures.
Not surprisingly, they asked me what to do.
The conversation went something like, "We understand we need to change… but what problems do we solve first?"
My answer: Find a group of smart and curious 20-somethings, and give them the mission of interviewing your patients, employees and suppliers. Then have them catalogue and rate all of your problems.
Let me explain…
I talk a lot about millennial entrepreneurs.
They are smart, hard working, and naïve – exactly the qualities you want in someone who is trying to reinvent a system.
They have no preconceived notions about the way the world (or a hospital, in this example) is supposed to work.
This gives them the ability to question everything – remember that "the day before something is a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea."
I have a team of 20-somethings that I call my "Strike Force" – you'll see why below – and I've been amazed by the brilliant ideas they come up with.
So where do you find your strike force? They may already work for you, or they might be grad students, or a group of local entrepreneurs.
What you're looking for is passion and curiosity. Ideally one or multiple teams of three to five individuals with a background in science, engineering, and an understanding of where technology is going.
With your Strike Force in place, give them the following instructions.
I want you to interview our company's employees, suppliers and customers and document the major challenges we're having:
Give them 4-6 weeks to literally walk around your company and examine everything. Tell them to talk to all of your employees, patients, servicemen, visitors, volunteers, staff, and so on. Everybody. Let them sit in different venues and observe how your business operates. Challenge them to think about how each and every process could be done better or differently. Make sure to emphasize that they have NO LIMITATIONS as to the ideas they can come up with – this is critical.
In summary, their goal is to document your company's biggest problems… question everything.
Next, ask them to come together, compile their findings, and write up their top 10 - 20 recommendations.
For each recommendation, rate them with regard to:
Based on my experience doing this, you'll be pleasantly surprised with their innovative attitude (perhaps naïveté and outsider perspective) and ability to put their finger on the biggest gold mines in your company.
Your goal is next to mine these gold mines.
Pick the brightest members of the Strike Force and fund them to develop the solution either internal to your business, or as outside entrepreneurial endeavors. Either way, you win.
Here are three guiding principles to help guide your efforts:
Disrupting yourself isn't just a thought exercise. It's not a rebranding. And it is certainly not something that is easy or simple to do.
It's going to take some time, so the key is that you have to really commit to innovation.
You have to be open-minded and strong-willed at the same time. You have to be able to motivate your employees when experiments fail, and rein them in if they are going too far off the entrepreneurial cliff.
Your Strike Force will mine your problems for gold nuggets, but it's YOU who will ultimately greenlight the effort to reinvent your business.
It's a challenging task – but disrupting and reinventing your business is the only way to survive during these exponential times.
This is the sort of conversation we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective and we're almost full, looking for a few last CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. You can apply here.
Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.
P.S. Every week I send out a "Tech Blog" like this one. If you want to sign up, go to PeterDiamandis.com and sign up for this and Abundance Insider.
P.P.S. I've just released a podcast with my dear friend Dan Sullivan called Exponential Wisdom. Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe: a360.com/podcast