February 03, 2011
How to Create an Idea Factory


One of the reasons why most BIG IDEAS go nowhere is because the idea originators do not have a team of collaborators on board to help develop and execute their ideas.

In the absence of collaborators, the idea originators either try to do everything themselves (not a good idea) or spend so much time trying to enroll people on the fly that the idea loses momentum and eventually evaporates.

Simply put, it's easy to conceive. It's harder to deliver the baby.

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 totally 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.

Here are the 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, data, resources, etc.

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.

Anything I've forgotten? Any members of the team I should add? What would you need from me in order to say YES to playing one of the five roles noted above?

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.

Idea Champions
Collaboration Training


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 3, 2011 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

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