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My “Ideation Experience”

August 4, 2009

Ideation ExperienceI don’t interrupt my vacations. Especially when we go to Maine. As soon as we hop on that ferry to Peaks, I try to leave all my cares on the mainland (no pun intended).

But this year I made an exception and headed down to sweltering Dallas, TX for Leadership Network‘s Ideation Experience. I had submitted my brainchild, Commontary (the free Bible commentary) to their invitation-only event, and it was accepted. I’m happy to say that it was well worth going–even if it was in Dallas! (BTW, Eagles fans, I drove by the old Texas Stadium–that thing was ugly as sin).

Leadnet brought in over 60 people from all over the US, and as far away as the UK, Denmark, and even Australia. All of us had pitched ideas via YouTube, and one of the first things we did upon arrival on Monday was give our “elevator pitches” again in person to the group.

We were then led through a series of talks, exercises, and collaborative experiences to grow our innovation capabilities. The main facilitator was John Handy, who had worked for many years as a VP at Mattel and had his hands in many toys that both me and my boys play with. (Yes, I wrote that present-tense). John had some great stories and left me with some good ideas for facilitating innovation personally and with those I work with.

Even though the 3 day event was somewhat competitive, as I’m sure most of us were hoping to be voted one of the top ideas, the atmosphere was warm, collegial, and supportive. I met some great people there, too many to mention. Let’s just say I lost track of how many published authors I met. And I’ve randomly seen two of my Ideation colleagues quoted in the New York Times over the past few weeks.

I’m happy to say that Commontary was well-received by my peers, and we achieved the desired outcome of being named as one of the Top 12 Ideas to emerge from the conference. Leadership Network will now publicize these results among their many influential contacts, which I believe will open more doors.

As far as Commontary goes, where do we go from here?

  • We now have a major stamp of approval, and some real momentum, with growing contacts in influential places.
  • I’m working on a business plan. The big goal over the next few months is to find financial backers and a publishing partner.
  • The financial backing will allow us to do more in terms of web design, pay for travel expenses, purchase resources for under-resourced pastors, and compensation.
  • In addition to these big goals, we’re continuing to grow our base of users and content, developing the technical aspects and iPhone app, and developing international partnerships.

Stay tuned, and if you haven’t checked out Commontary, why not do so today?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2009 10:44 pm

    Congrats bro! Commontory will be a great tool!

  2. Laura permalink
    August 5, 2009 10:39 pm

    congrats, Steve! That’s great news!

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