“We have a problem”.

Once a month Craig Groeschel releases a Leadership podcast. Most of his episodes are great, but this one really hit home for me.

If you are in business or sales in ANY capacity, this is a phrase you probably hear A LOT.

It might come from your customer, a technician, a manufacturer, or maybe a sales person that reports to you. 

It’s time to get EXCITED when you hear this phrase. 

When you hear “Hey we have a problem”, the first thought should be a "light bulb moment" that it might be the beginning of an innovation. 

Here is Groeschel's four step process to having explosive innovation, which of course ALWAYS starts with “We have a problem.”

You need a problem to solve

Before you have explosive innovation, you NEED a problem to solve. Nothing innovative happens without a problem. Train your brain to get excited when you hear about a new problem. That means it’s time to learn and innovate. 

You need limited resources 

If you have unlimited resources, the solution will not be innovative. Adding another person to your team, for example, might help customer response time, but it’s not scalable. You might have solved a short term problem, but you’re not being innovative. 


You need a willingness to fail 

Elon Musk says it well: “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

Enough said. 

You need a crazy idea 

Most people speed through the day without ANY downtime to relax, debrief or to think of new ideas. Plan time during each day to think about your biggest problems. If you are having trouble thinking of ideas, check out this article on how to build your idea muscle.

When all FOUR of these steps come together, you have a high likelihood of innovation.

But without a doubt, you NEED a problem to solve. So if you want to be innovative, you need to get excited when you hear, “Hey, we have a problem.”

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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.