When I first interviewed in the building where I now work, I could not help but notice the inspirational quotes that stood out on the walls, in the halls, and in every meeting room – including the room where I sat, résumé in hand.

One poster caught my eye: “Ideas don’t work unless you do” – an aphorism from product designer and creativity guru, Tanner Christensen.

These words stuck out to me because my father was a small-business owner, and he was always creating and re-engineering different machines to help his business operate more efficiently – he knew ideas, and he knew work.

The reason Christensen’s idea is so important – and stands out – is because it takes more than just ideas or just work to make things happen.

Fast forward a few weeks from my first glimpse of the words of Tanner Christensen, and I found myself employed in the building with the fun, inspirational posters.

In my new role, I found myself on a team tracking thousands of transmission cores that our customers needed to return. We were using online spreadsheets. It was the system that existed and, turns out, it was a messy system that made it difficult to collaborate with a growing team.

I knew the problem. What could be done to take care of this process more efficiently? Luckily, the seeds of an idea were already taking root elsewhere in our company.

In the Product Support Department, they were facing a similar challenge and were in the beginning stages of using the web ticketing system, ZenDesk, to help them better organize shared tasks.

Once ZenDesk was up and running, my department had some exposure to the program, and I quickly gained an appreciation for its functionality when I noticed it helped improve communication throughout the office. The idea was born: We needed ZenDesk, too. We implemented it, evaluated our results, and our processes have continued to improve.

To make you – and your idea – work, here are three key steps:

Identify an idea for change

Be it personal or professional, find something that can be improved. The first step is the spark:

Your physical wellness

Your habits

Your professional standing

Implement a new tool or process

This is the “you work” portion of the quote. Your health doesn’t improve with good intentions, and your résumé won’t expand itself. It takes hard work, trial and error, and a few failures before your idea starts working as hard as you are.

Evaluate the outcome

The idea was to lose 10 pounds, become more organized or get a new job. How did it go? Got it? Great – your idea and you worked. Not so much? I mentioned this involved work, right?

The implementation of ZenDesk was successful because it combined a great idea that worked as hard as we did for the result. Concerned with making something of your ideas? Get ready and get to work.

Chad Siebenaler, aka the COREderback, is part of the Reman U author team at ETE Reman. Reman U is a free e-newsletter that delivers best practices, lessens learned and tricks of the trade to help you build a better transmission business.