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Do Good Ideas

Last night I was riding my bike home and my head was full of ideas. I actually pulled over, whipped out my iPhone, and jotted 3 of them down so I wouldn’t lose them.

That lead me to post on Twitter: “I really wish I had 4-5 people to sit around with regularly and share ideas. I could actually meet almost every day.

That tweet launched a conversation about if such a group was really plausible.

Here’s what I’m thinking. This is completely open for discussion. So leave a comment if you have ideas or feedback.

And yes, I’m pretty serious about this.

Good ideas cohort

  • It’d be a group of people who care about investing in an idea enough to see it through.
  • It’d need to be a group of people somehow vocationally tied to youth ministry, but the ideas shared wouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with youth ministry.
  • There’d be a $500 buy-in per person, so everyone would have a dog in the fight. (We’d hold the money in an escrow account.)
  • Annually, we’d fund one idea with our seed money. Other than that no one would profit from the cohort.
  • Everyone in the group would sign a non-disclosure agreement as well as some sort of an agreement that ideas shared would belong to the person presenting them.
  • Everyone would get the opportunity to share their idea (quickly) each time we met. If nothing less, this cohort would teach you how to pitch an idea for action.
  • We’d commit to a one-year cohort for the purpose of sharing ideas, learning from one another, etc. If the group wanted to keep going beyond that, it’d be up to them. (But they’d have to put up $500 annually)
  • We’d have something like a private Ning group to regularly share concepts, ideas.
  • We’d meet quarterly online via some form of video conference.
  • We’d meet annually for 2 days somewhere. Location would depend on the people in the group.
  • This would be an all-for-one and one-for-all type of thing. No one would have more power in the group than another.
  • Ideally this would be entrepreneurial. The idea of somehow donating the money to a charity doesn’t give me a lot of energy. Instead, I’d like to see the measurement of the idea be “what’s the best idea” as opposed to some other measurement.
  • Seems like 10 people would be about the maximum per cohort. But I can see doing an East Coast and West Coast version.
  • The reality is that $5000 (group of 10) isn’t a lot of money. But it could be the seed money an idea needs to get going. And who knows from there?
  • Ultimately, this would be informal enough to be fun yet formal enough that everyone would agree to take it seriously.

Good ideas friend group

As I thought about this more. I like the idea of the cohort a ton. But I would also love to have a group of Southern California friends to get together with much more often in a way more informal way. To maybe share ideas, bounce around solutions to complex problems facing the church today, and generally just be friends brought together by a common thread of wanting to see change happening and perhaps having one slice of the pie at their disposal to see change happen.

Thoughts? Ideas? Refinements? Just crazy enough to be for you?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

17 replies on “Do Good Ideas”

This is definitely an idea worth pursuing. At my present stage in life, I wouldn’t be able to afford something like you are proposing, but I can see the value in it, and it is high.

In my opinion, collaboration that is steeped in equality, such as the type you propose, is the best way to not only share ideas, but to ship them in a timely manner. The risk involved is very low when you consider the cost, unless you’re a college student like me, but the returns could possibly be exponential, and I don’t mean in just a financial way either.

Here’s to you seeing this idea through, and others joining you in the development. I look forward to seeing where this goes. Hopefully one day I can afford to join in on something like this.

Great idea Adam. Too much on my plate to join in, but I’m certain you’ll get some takers and it’ll be a worthy process. Just heard of a highly recommended book yesterday you may consider: Where Good Ideas Come From. And one thought – people often think information leads to innovation, but according to the book, it must first go through imitation (finding a culture where the idea takes traction). Sounds like that’s what you’re trying to create here. Good stuff indeed!

I like the SoCal idea of a group where I could mingle with people who have the same passion and a variety of skills. So possibly I could help edit something or give strategic thought to an idea. And others could help me find solutions to roadblocks in ideas.
Also to possibly uncover opportunities to work together on ideas/projects.

I’m way out On the east coast but you west coast guys and gals could probably use us right coast folk. The cohort is a great idea and it’s got me thinking big. Looking forward to cobtributing.

that kind of entrepreneurial thinking gets me excited. I get the meeting together, the creativity etc but I’m still not sure about the purpose of the 5k? Is that to eventually launch a collective something?

Exactly. The group would pick an idea to seed with the money. It could be an idea from within the group or maybe just something really cool they’d like to invest in? Not making any rules… Just know a buy in would be pretty important.

The dynamics this would create within the group would be intriguing. I would assume that I would advocate for my idea, and have $500 in the hunt, but it could go to another idea.

Do we get one idea to advocate for all year? Can we pitch a new idea every time?

Does the group decide at the end of the year what to go with?

Am I making up too many rules for a group designed to encourage creativity and innovation?

4 years later I’m going to try and revive this post! Did you ever run a cohort like this Adam? Reason I am asking is that I have thought about doing something similar and would love to get some of your feedback about how it might play out?

Well, the idea is certainly there. And we’ve gone back to it a few times wondering about the right time (and cost) of doing it.

I would be interested in doing an online cohort group, particularly as a beta test of it. Thing is… do you think we could get 8 or so ministry peeps to pay to do it?

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