December 20, 2015
How to Create an Idea Factory


One reason why most BIG IDEAS don't manifest is because the idea originators don't have a team of allies on board to help them develop and execute their ideas. Idea originators either try to do everything themselves or spend so much time trying to enroll people on the fly that the idea loses momentum and eventually evaporates. Bottom line, conceiving the baby is easy. Delivering the the baby is not. Let's take a brief look at how you can change that...

But what if each of us who comes up with a potentially game-changing idea already had a team of collaborators in place -- people who were poised and ready to respond with enthusiasm, skill, and clarity?

This is not a new idea. There are examples in many other domains: Swat Teams, Firefighters, and Emergency Rooms, just to name a few.


These are people who are there when you need them. They are skilled. They know their roles. They are team players. And they are committed -- even when tired, cranky, and under-appreciated.

YOU need something similar every time you come up with a big idea. OK. Maybe not every time -- but at least sometimes.

Below is a list of the kinds of people I want in my Idea Factory (or, as one friend renamed it, my "Opportunity Incubator").

1.Brainstorm Buddy to help develop the idea, give feedback, share insights, and keep me on my game.

2. Researcher to gather information, best practices, and resources.

3. Finance Person to do projections, budgets, and help build the business case.

4. Marketing Maven to help me sell the idea -- in house and out there in the "real world."

5. Writer to create proposals, business cases, and other support materials.

Five people. That's it. On call. Part time.


1. The Big Idea comes to you.
2. You write a brief and email it to your Fab Five
3. On a conference call, you present the idea -- and get feedback.
4. You make specific requests to each member of the team.
5. You stay in close touch with all Idea Factory cohorts -- making sure to share info, progress, changes, and successes.

Or... are you ready to start your own idea factory?

PS: These do not have to be paid positions. I'm talking about inviting your friends or colleagues who are "in the zone" and would love to be involved in some cool projects with you.
Go for it!

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at December 20, 2015 06:54 PM


hi mitch

what you are suggesting requires lot's of quality communication
tonight at the dinner party the question was posed and passed around 'what project would you endeavor if you knew you could not fail?'
my answer was that all human beings would be connected in a communications network based on the acknowlegment that we are all one because we are fundamentally connected by our aspiration to be fulfilled and by our mortality
the ramifications would be that we could and would solve all (or most of) our problems and have alot of fun doing it
kind of like the ancient stories of the greek gods the real action was with the humans because they could not only feel the divine aspirations of love and glory but also the cold wind of mortality
the humans are heroic the gods are not
the humans experience a passion the gods don't know because they can't die or become bereaved unless ofcourse they become human
lovely arwen the elfin princess from the lord of the rings made that choice
so here we are
i applaud your idea factory idea
my idea is to create a communications training where the stumbling blocks and dead end strategies are identified and alternative strategies are suggested and practiced in some sort of a workshop environment and then to make it available to groups or communities that see the need for more effective communications tools
interested ??
comments ??

Posted by: Rohn Bayes [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 6, 2011 01:59 AM

Will you be my brainstorm buddy?

Posted by: Ian [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 6, 2011 02:52 PM

Ian: Maybe. It all depends on the project. So, if you are willing, send me your email address and i will email you a very simple 2-page doc that will give you a chance to describe your project and the kind of help you are looking for. I will review it within 48 hours and get back to you with a YES or NO. Does that work for you? Mitch

Posted by: Mitch Ditkoff [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 6, 2011 03:10 PM

In digital innovation, we have the opportunity to rapidly prototype at low cost: so I would engineer and design to be ready to build a focused prototype, that would "stage" your idea; I believe idea is strenghtened by an intent or a belief, and design thinking can also help in this perspective.

Posted by: NicoBry [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 2, 2011 06:08 PM

Execution is the difference between good ideas and great ideas. Having a team of people at the ready to help with execution is an amazing way to increase the likelihood of successful execution. Having someone who can crunch numbers and someone to do research is crucial. I bet lots of people find those two components the most challenging. As an idea person, I know all too well how overwhelming it can be to try to figure all that stuff out alone.

Posted by: KymleeIsAwesome [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2012 03:48 PM

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