starts with an idea

It's not how many ideas you have, it's how many you make happen

innovation tools

“Innovation is one of the most over-used terms whilst being the most under-exploited strategies in business”.

Everything Brilliant about your business started with an idea. Everything brilliant about the future of your business will start with an idea.

Why then do so many organisations find innovation so seemingly mysterious or particularly hard? It’s actually neither of those things. It does however take persistence and passion (and sometimes some help).

And that’s where I come in.  I coach innovation. I provide the tools, the guidance, ask the right questions at the right time, and ensure your innovation projects succeed.

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Innovation Coaching

Innovation is hard. People have likened it to climbing a mountain. I would suggest that traversing a mountain range would be a more appropriate metaphor because there will be many ups and downs and all too often just as you think you’ve reached summit, you find there’s another summit in the distance.

This is where innovation coaching comes in. I use the Lean Startup methodology as my route map so I’ll ask the difficult questions, test your hypothesis, make sure you are focusing on the experiments that will give you the right answers and give you the confidence, when necessary to pivot or persevere.

How do I charge for this….well the good news is, it’s free. You just need to subscribe and I’ll send you step by step guides. I’d love to help you in person, but I can’t help everyone and realistically if you are on the other side of the World I can’t pitch-up when you need me so I’ll show all I can. If you need personal help, I’m here, talk to me.

Click this link to sign-up. I’ll send you lesson 1, a simple way of generating 50 new ideas for a product or service that already exists in the time it takes you to drink a cup of coffee called Idea Hacking or click this link for more information about coaching.


The Facilitate Innovation Training designed for innovation teams that need to facilitate innovation in their organisation.

It’s a 2 or 3 day training course that takes the delegates through the complete innovation process;

  • Getting started with innovation
  • Challenge. Two essential tools to identify where and how to engage people to innovate
  • Ideate. Four tools to find novel ideas
  • Converge. Simple ways of getting from lots of ideas to the most promising few
  • Prototype and test

You can find out more and register for more information on this link.

The 6 Way

The 6 Way is a packaged solution for intrapreneurship.

It combines the twin aims of; embedding entrepreneurial thinking and behaviours in a small teams, whilst unlocking innovations that can deliver significant value for their organisation.
It’s called the 6 Way because it’s; 6 teams of up to 6 members, each team has a Challenge that was set by up to 6 members of the Board and within 6 weeks teams will receive training and support to develop hypothesis, experiments and prototypes which they will then pitch back to the ‘dragons’.

It’s FAST and FRUGAL innovation which combines Design Thinking and Lean Startup

You can find out more about the 6 Way on this link.

The best ideas are already in someone's head. You just need to get them out!


Hi, I’m Mike Allen.

I’m an ideas person! I have founded three businesses; Europe’s first on-line photo processor, fotango.com, TalkFreely (www.talkfreely.com) and a Chatbot / AI Agency called theBotFarm.io.  You can find more about me, my background and business by connecting to me on Linkedin, but if you’re reading this, your probably only really interested in knowing whether I could help you.

If you want to innovate, you need to master the process: identifying where you need to innovate, finding novel and creative ideas, assessing and choosing the most promising ideas, analysing, testing and building prototypes and finally launching them. I’ve built lots of tools to support organisations and people throughout this process.

Most of what I do I give away for free. Partly that’s because I can’t help everyone – there’s only so many hours in the day so why wouldn’t I help as many people as possible, and partly because an awful lot of consultancies that ‘offer’ innovation are offering the same old snake oil…management consulting labelled as innovation or creative thinking.

When I coach innovation, I jump into the trenches with you. While a lot of the tools I use are my own creations, a lot is also based on Lean Startup. It’s THE best way of developing propositions and businesses.

So, take a look around my blog and if you like what you see, sign-up to receive free lessons from the homepage, starting with an ideation tool called Idea Hacking which will walk you through generating 50 ideas in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

If you want to know more about how I can help, email me at mike@everythingbrilliant.co.uk

Thanks for reading this page, and let’s get innovating!

Mike Allen


Brilliant ideas can happen at any time. Capture them and share them


Great idea, great PR

This is how you do great PR in a crisis!Scottish brewer, Brewdog have temporarily suspended a production line in their distillery to switch to manufacturing hand sanitiser. What’s more, they made it clear, it’s not to cash in, but to give away to try and help as many people as possible stay safe. Well done […]

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Now this IS a good idea. Postal workers check-in on older residents

Cohésio is a new initiative from the French National Post. It means “Watch Over My Parents” and was created by accident. The service began in 2013, after a heat wave, when a number of overburdened city halls asked their local post offices to check on vulnerable and elderly residents. There has always been a “natural […]

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New research on crowdsourcing innovation from the market leader, Spigit

The market leader in idea management software has been producing an annual report on crowdsourcing from their clients – many of which are the world’s largest brands – representing 21 different industry verticals for the last few years. The report delivers insights into how these brands leverage their innovation programs to solve problems and surface […]

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Brilliant Idea #365. Electric Vehicle charging road train

If they can refuel a plane at 30k feet and 500mph, can’t we-recharge an electric vehicle in motion? When all HGV lorries are EVs or hybrids, they’ll have huge batteries. The car (with a small battery) will drive behind the lorry, tether and recharge on the motorway.  The car gets an un-interrupted journey (re-charging on […]

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Brilliant Idea #364. Alexa stretch skill

If you sit down all day, bad news, it’s slowly killing your. Doctors call it the sitting disease. More worrying, the latest research suggests that you can’t undo the 8-10 hours a day you’re sitting down working by then going to the gym in the evening. You can, according to the science, undo the harm […]

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Brilliant Idea #363. Electric Vehicle charging robot

We’ll all have electric vehicles soon. Daily we’ll be plugging them in. I can’t think of a better use-case for a robot. It’ll find the charging plug in the car and plug itself in. If you can refuel a jet at 20k feet at 500 mph, we can build a charging robot. Brilliant.

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Birlliant Idea #362. The misguided tour co.

A city tour in a bus, taxi or tuktuk, but the tour commentary is nonsense – amusing nonesense, just for fun. Brilliant.

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First sight of my book

First sight of my book, co-authored by my good friends Bassam Alkarashi and Patrick Roupin. Looks great.

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Brilliant Idea #361. Start an internet conspiracy that internet conspiracies are just a conspiracy

We’ve seen a number of internet conspirancies that have taken hold in the last few years – the flat earth one being an example which is, let’s face it, just stupid. How do they take hold? Presumably it’s not just highly convincing YouTube videos. Isn’t it also that some people are pre-desposed to wanting to […]

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Logs from coffee grounds. Brilliant

We drink millions of cups of coffee every day (in fact, I really should start a coffee shop, it might be more profitable than innovation consulting). That’s a LOT of used coffee grounds. Bio-Bean turn them into logs to burn in the fireplace. Brilliant. http://www.bio-bean.com/coffee-logs/

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Rescam fights back against spammers

Why didn’t I think of this! Rescam (www.rescam.org) uses AI to fight back against email spammers by replying to their spam emails again and again and again. Love it.

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Brilliant idea #360. Point ring

I’ve an Amazon Alexa in my home connected to wifi enabled lightulbs so I can walk into, for instance, the master bedroom and say “Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamp” and it will send a message to the lamp to turn it on (or off). It’ll even turn it up or down or, with the […]

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If you need an innovation speaker at your event, contact me. I love to speak about innovation and ideas but what makes my speaking engagements unique is that not only can I talk the talk about innovation and the reasons why it’s essential to organisations and societies, I can also walk the walk by sharing my ideas. I hope to entertain with some of my ‘left-field’ ideas, and hope to provoke a few “ah, that’s a good idea” moments, but primarily I want to prove that anyone can have abundance of ideas and when you do, why I (as everyone should) share them freely.

If you need me to inspire your attendees to ‘ideate’ (the verb of having ideas) I’ll share some simple techniques that allow anyone to have more, better ideas.

I’m equally able to pitch the presentations at business leaders and executive teams and explore the reasons why innovation is such as imperitive for competitive advantage and growth. I’ve worked with some of the UKs largest companies so I know what it feels like to wear the CEOs shoes and can talk from their perspective about what it really takes to create innovative organisations.

Here are some of my most recent speaking engagements;



the same 12 bricks millions of ideas 1000 px by 800 px

One of the common barriers to innovation lies in a belief held by most people that they “aren’t ideas people”. In truth, everyone’s an ideas person. Some of us certainly see more or less risk in offering ideas and some of us see ourselves as being more creative than others and above all some of us feel more confident that we can articulate ideas in a way that gets people excited than others, but fundamentally I firmly believe everyone is an ideas person.

We learn some of those barriers as we get older so the 12 bricks game takes us back to our childhood by using LEGO bricks as the tools. There are literally millions of combinations and ideas that can be brought to life with just 12 bricks. Here’s the website I created to hopefully inspire you. www.12bricks.co.uk

You can create ideas too. You don’t need the same bricks that you can see on the site – any 12 bricks will do. Send them to 12bricks@everythingbrilliant.co.uk, or tweet them to @just12bricks or share them on facebook.com/12bricks

Go on, what are you waiting for.

"If at least half the people in the room don't think you're mad, you're probably not innovating"


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