Creating an Environment for Great Ideas

“Ideas are Cheap” is a maxim you hear with alarming frequency. For the most part it’s true, ideas are everywhere and yes, the real key is in the execution. The risk of this attitude though is that we begin to treat ideas as a commodity.

Ideas are living things, they start off small but cared for, and helped to develop, they can begin to take on a life of their own but to really be transformational your idea will likely need a little TLC before you even think about executing in it. That said, where ideas really need the TLC is before you even have them.

Nature vs. Nurture

Some ideas are born great, others need some help and hate to break it to you, most ideas fall in the latter category. It’s rare to have that ‘a-ha’ moment in a spontaneous fashion. Your ideas need time to grow. Think of the idea as a seed, often the idea gets planted and as soon as we see any green poking out of the ground we’re harvesting it (Get it done!) but have you really thought everything through? How often have you seen a team run with an idea only to hit a major roadblock that wasn’t anticipated? Have you even had the best idea yet?

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Follow-up: Defining and Measuring Social Success

From June 8-12, 2009 the MaRS Discovery District here in Toronto, ON ran an event called “Netchange Week” (, a week-long event designed to explore how social technology can bolster social change. As part of this week I was invited to come run an afternoon workshop on social media and how to effectively define success in a way that could be measured.

Working with Chris Berry from Critical Mass we collaborated on a two-part session – the first, a talk by Chris on practical social metrics followed by a facilitated session where I broke the attendees into groups and they took what Chris had presented and applied it to some example scenarios.

If you’d like to know more, I’ve included Chris’ slide deck below and detailed the full session at

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help. Contact me today.

Upcoming: Defining and Measuring Social Success (06/12)

In a couple of weeks I’ll be facilitating a session in conjunction with the folks organizing Net Change Week at MaRS – Net Change is a week-long event designed to explore how social technology can bolster social change.I’ll be there on Friday afternoon facilitating a component of “Defining and Measuring Social Success” alongside Chris Berry of Critical Mass.

It should be an interesting session, we’re inviting representatives from non-profit/charitable organizations & grouping them with some leading social media, community, design & marketing experts from the area and doing a session on defining and measuring metrics when it comes to social media tactics and strategies – it should be really interesting to see what comes out of it.

The details are at the bottom of this post – the session is invite only but if you think you’d add value and want to participate drop me an email (Ryan@ this domain) and I’ll see what I can do!

Come on Out For Net Change Week!
Be sure to check out the Net Change site – in addition to my workshop there are a ton of other events, many of them free, happening throughout the week on a variety of topics.

This video sums up the goal of Net Change week quite nicely:

NetChange from SiG @ MaRS on Vimeo.

Session Details:

Defining and Measuring Social Success

This combination lecture and workshop will focus on social media strategies and effective ways to monitor their success for you non-profit or change-focused organization. Christopher Berry, Group Director of Marketing Science at Critical Mass will speak on practical social analytics. Following Chris’ talk the participants will be split into small workgroups where they will have the opportunity to work through example scenarios where they’ll be able to apply and explore what they’ve just learned. Each of these scenarios will give each group to work through identifying measurements and targets for three types of goals: Fundraising, Awareness and Engagement.

This three hour session will bring together a variety of participants, from key representatives of non-profits and charitable organizations to social media, community, design & marketing experts from the Toronto community. Participants will leave with a new toolset that they can take from this session and apply to their own organizations when measuring the impact of their social media strategies and tactics going forward.

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