Ideas Factory

Our simple 6-stage process helps ideas come to life

Catalyse New Ideas

The first stage is to catalyse, that is to inspire (even disrupt), stir up and extract new ideas to benefit our community.

This is an ongoing activity that can happen spontaneously through interactions at the Tea Bar for example. Or certain activities could be specifically designed to generate these ideas, such as the Pitch for Possibility competition.

The four workstream ‘Champions’ play an essential part in acting as catalysts for their particular workstream, ie entrepreneurs, community, employment opportunities and business regeneration.

Refine Backlog

At this stage the workstream Champions refine the Backlog of community ideas and decide if they fit into one of the workstreams, or not.

Some initial research will be done, providing answers to basic questions, such as: What is the problem/opportunity being addressed by the idea? Who is it for? How can it be sustainable?

The refining may be conducted by the person who came up with the idea or by a Create volunteer/intern.

Experiment with Projects

Once ideas have been refined, a suitable experiment is devised to test their viability.

The experiments are designed to be as minimal as necessary to test the hypothesis that the idea could be worth pursuing. This ensures we don’t expend time and money on large ventures that may not work out.

A short term project is then run for at least four months to implement the project.

Adapt Plans

Projects are planned out for the four months, but regular reflection will take place during that time – in order to adapt those plans as necessary, to respond to new understanding.

Adaptive planning is an ongoing activity, happening even on a daily basis and following a classic PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Adapt) continuous improvement cycle.

Monthly Review

In addition, there is a monthly review where the projects’ progress is assessed in more detail with other interested stakeholders. As a result of the review, improvement actions are taken into the next month.

Test The Results

At the end of the four month period, there is a test of the experiment. That is, the expected results are weighed against the actual results.

Pivot or Persevere

The test takes place at the Pivot or Persevere meeting. At this meeting, the results are assessed and the decision is made to ‘persevere’ with the project as it is, or to ‘pivot’, that is change the experiment to test another aspect of the viability of the initial idea.

Expand for Success

Ideas that are proven viable are then encouraged to expand. This includes increasing income, people and the scope of the initial idea, as appropriate.

Further experiments are conducted to test the viability of the new ideas. These are fed back into the normal four month project cycle and Pivot or Persevere decision point.