The executive summary: share your idea with others who can help. Go ahead and take the next step with your idea. Let’s not worry about how to protect an idea — share it freely for the good of the world.
As we enter conference season, live off-line in-person gatherings are still very valuable, not as much for the content, and more so for the connections, conversations, and coaching. 2 conferences in particular are making room for more conversations between presenters and attendees.
This April 5-6, the Ideation Conference launches in Long Beach, California. Charles Lee is pulling together an amazing roster of people, who’ll serve up great content and valuable coaching for non-profit organizations. Rather than pay upwards of $10,000 a day for coaching, you can bring your non-profit staff for 2 days at $249 per person! (NGO/NPO rate) Watch my interview with Charles about the Ideation Conference experience. Your team will get valuable feedback and coaching plus team-building for your non-profit efforts for social good! I think the afternoon white board sessions will help non-profits tackle their biggest challenges and find solutions through coaching and collaboration.
And, for people who are in the world of church planting, the Association of Related Churches (ARC) is hosting their annual All Access conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on April 27-29. Yes there’s the standard fare of plenary sessions with the likes of Hillsong United, Dino Rizzo, Craig Groeschel, John Maxwell, Chris Hodges, Stovall Weems, Tommy Barnett. What’ll be even better is the variety of App Sessions provide in-depth discussion of leadership, church life, and social justice — with the likes of Matthew Barnett, Greg Surratt, Bobby Gruenewald, Billy Hornsby. Since ARC is all about relationships–creating them and nurturing them–their All Access conference is going to be all about relationships too.
Remember, conferences can be life changing — choose the one that’ll get you access to the people who’ll help you along the journey of life.
In trying to figure out how to turn an idea into reality, 1 of the unavoidable questions is one of value.
One way it’s asked is, “Does it add value?” The “it” refers to the idea, be it a product or a service. The assumption is that if the idea has value, then we should find the resources to make it happen. But, who determines the value?
One management guru named Drucker asks 5 essential questions about an organization seeking to fulfill its mission and increase performance. Right in the middle is the question, “What does the customer value?” The inference is that an organization serves a customer base, and if the customer values the organization’s offering, then the customer would pay for it. Value is thus monetary value, or market value, as in what the market of customers is willing to pay.
Yet not every product and service can be financially sustained by market value. There are things that should happen because they’re a kingdom value.
Many activities with Kingdom value will bear fruit and show forth results. It’s easier for donors to see the value of financially supporting these activities, because they can see the results. This is where market value overlaps with kingdom value — donors want to see results.
But, there are also kingdom activities where there are no measurable results, no investment return, no visible fruit. At least not in the short-term time-frame of a quarterly or annual report.
Here in Arlington, Virginia, (metro Washington DC area) at The Idea Camp, and rather than tons of live-tweeting [and many others here are doing phenomenal with catching sound bites and salient quotes], I’m a part of a team that’s doing a whrrl story, which I think of as a photo essay, a la citizen photojournalism. Here’s snapshots of the Ideal Camp DC on the ground:
Holy holy. The Idea Camp finished last night in the 8′ish hour. A bonus session with CharityWater.org‘s Scott Harrison followed after a brief intermission. The entire hybrid unconference was so much more than an experiment. It’d be too pithy to call it an experience. Some of what I loved about being there:
- lots of younger people in the audience eager to learn and connect.. I believe the ideas and dreams God has planted in them has been watered and cultivated all the more; the $0 registration opened the doors wide for anyone and everyone to participate
- porous-ness of the gathering, with room to breathe between sessions, people could come and go, ideas could flow and combust
- how it connected the online and offline worlds, e.g. we had as many people online as in-person at the event, Q&A was interaction with both onliners and offliners, relationships initiated online came together in person, etc
- the steps for turning an idea into reality was unpacked, in many different contexts, perspectives, and methods via workshops, Q&A, and examples
- minimal use of paper connotes creative uses of digital technology, eco-friendly consciousness, frugal stewardship, and that hip cool factor too
- it’s less about content and so much more about connections and courage and compassion
- every main session and workshop was setup in a conversational format; we get more than enough lectures in the classroom and elsewhere
- Charles Lee showed incredible generosity to organize, to share his social capital by inviting a buncha A-list conference-circuit-rider speakers / presenters/ facilitators, to thoughtfully plan the flow, to keep it open source, to be fully present with everyone during the event, to honor the dignity of each person by giving space and voice so they can have an opportunity to be heard
There’s so much more I loved about The Idea Camp, partly because I’m an ideator (i.e. ideation is one of my top StrengthsFinder talents). Gallup describes ideation as, “People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.”
Starting points for reviewing and connecting with the conversations that happened during and following The Idea Camp, via Google Blog Search for “the idea camp”, Twitter Search on hashtag #theideacamp, the Facebook group, the Ning-powered site at theideacamp.com,
I’m more than happy to explore percolating ideas with my fellow campers and be part of seeing it become reality — video chat via tokbox, and/or meetup in person. Signal me any time. [Aside: psst, this blog post was composed on a MacBook Pro]