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, 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.

Bottom line, it's easier to conceive than it is to deliver the baby.

But what if each of us who comes up with a 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 tons of examples in many other domains: SWAT teams, firefighters and paramedics, just to name a few.

These are people who are there when you need them. They are knowledgeable. They are committed. And they are team players -- even when tired and cranky.

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

Five people. That's all you need.

1. Brainstorm Buddy to give feedback, share insights and massage the idea.

2. Researcher to gather information, identify resources, and deliver what you need to know.

3. Finance Wizard to do projections, scope budgets and help you build a business case.

4. Social Media Marketing Maven to get the word out with the least amount of muss, fuss, or expense.

5. Writer to draft proposals, sales pitches and 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 team.
3. On a conference call, you present the idea -- and get fast feedback.
4. You make specific requests to each member of your team.
5. You stay in close touch -- sharing progress, successes, changes, and emerging needs.

PS: Your Idea Factory cohorts do not need to be paid for their services. I'm talking about inviting your friends and colleagues -- people "in the zone" who would love to be involved in a cool project with you. If you share your big ideas with them, respect their time and are willing to be on their team when they come calling, money will not be an issue.

Got it? Good? Now pick up the phone and put your Idea Factory together today.

Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and author of the very popular Heart of Innovation blog. He also the creator of Free the Genie, a deck of cards for people who want to shrink the time between the origination of a big idea and it's manifestation.

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