When you need to do something with those ideas that are kicking around your company, use outthebox’s “Idea Accelerator Recipe” to deploy a standardised process, along with the tools and step-by-step instructions your teams need to succeed.
There can be a huge benefit to running your own internal accelerator to turn ideas into reality and deliver you new value. However, it can be a daunting prospect – the thought of lots of teams all looking to take an idea and prove that it could be turned into a business. It’s a new way of working for most people, so how do you manage the madness?
Our ‘Idea Accelerator Recipe‘ can be used to structure the whole of your program. The program has 5 stages, each with a specific focus, and your teams work through them in order until they reach the final step – presenting their ideas to the selection panel.
The whole process takes between 6-8 weeks to complete, and you can have as many teams as you want participating. We suggest teams of between 1-3, otherwise things will start to slow down.
This recipe includes a stage where the teams will take their value propositions and messaging out to a small sample of their target market. This needs a small amount of funding per team – just a few hundred dollars or so – so that they can post ads, or sponsor content on social platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. It’s a small cost, but one that is well worth spending, since it’s the only real way to see if their value propositions really work with customers.
So, here you go – here’s your step-by-step guide to setting up your own Idea Accelerator:
Getting things ready:
- Take a look at the ‘Idea Accelerator Recipe‘ to understand the stages that the teams will be working through.
- Pull together a selection panel. This is an accelerator, and while all the ideas may be great, you can’t take all of them forwards, so who’s going to decide?
- Make sure you have a small amount of funding in place for each team – just a few hundred dollars or equivalent. The teams can work around this if not possible, but they will need to be creative.
- Write your invite email. It’s best to tell everyone what the plan is (“Hey – we are running an idea accelerator to give everyone a chance to bring an idea to reality and help grow the business!”), and to then invite people to join the program (“…are you in?”). Doing this will also helps you keep track of the teams as they come forwards.
- Write your kick-off email. Include in there this link to the Idea Accelerator Recipe, so that the teams know what they need to do.
- Get behind it! This is so important, since motivation and momentum are key to success. It’s important to understand that the teams will be faced with uncertainty through the program, and while outthebox gives them reassurance with a step-by-step approach through a process, they will need help with keeping positive and motivated. That is part of what you need to provide – support and reassurance.
Kick things off and watch it run:
- Make sure everyone has access to outthebox.io (if you don’t yet, check out our pricing page and hit the ‘contact us’ button!)
- Send out your invite email, and wait for the responses to come flooding back!
- Send out the kick off email to the teams! Make sure the timings are clear for them. Set them a deadline between 6-8 weeks from the start date. This is when they need their pitches ready, and all of their evidence and output from the process.
- Support them through the process. Our recipe will give them everything they need to progress, step-by-step, towards the final pitch, but they may need help with internal barriers, or just having someone to listen to their frustrations. It can be tough on people, so give them time to be listened to. However, they will also need pushing and motivating.
- Ask for evidence of progress. Each of the 5 stages the team follow have goals they need to achieve before moving on. You can use this as a natural check through the process so that teams who just won’t make it can be withdrawn from the process, or given more support (we like the latter one more of course!)
Finish things up:
- Pitch Day! This is the big day when everyone comes together (face to face or virtually, but face to face is always best), to hear where things are and deliver the final pitch to move forward for full funding and support.
- Bring the panel together and get them ready. Decide how many ideas you can move on for full support.
- Download and print the scoring sheet that comes with outthebox.io to help you judge the ideas in a standard way.
- Listen to the pitches! Give massive rounds of applause – moments like this don’t happen that often, so celebrate it.
- Judge – yes, it has to happen at some point. Some will make it, some will not, but use the scoring sheet to help you make that final decision.
Good luck, and have fun!
The outthebox.io Team