Mike Allen Coaching


Brilliant Idea #5. Fundraising idea

Millions has been raised by fast food restaurants like McDonalds with a simple way of leaving the change (or some of the maccy deeschange) from your meal. This works because we are given our change whilst we wait for our food.

Increasingly I find myself self serving in shops.

When you pay with cash the change lands at the bottom. The brilliant idea is to offer a question on the screen asking whether you want to donate to a range of charities.

I think most people would donate. I would. This could be thousands of small donations every hour!


New report from Accenture. Despite increasing commitment, funding and organizational accountability, many companies are disappointed by the returns they are deriving from their investments.

Accenture recently sought to identify the state of innovation by surveying 519 executives (vice presidents, directors, managers) at large U.S., U.K., and French organizations with revenues greater than $100 million. They represented a wide
spectrum of sectors.

According to the report, Innovation is not working out the way many companies expected. Despite increasing commitment, funding and organizational accountability, many companies are disappointed by the returns they are deriving from their investments. Correspondingly, they are scaling back expectations. Instead of the disruptive products, services, and business models that were anticipated several years ago, many initiatives have become considerably more limited in scope. Rather than offering “the next big thing,” innovations coming to market today are more typically line extensions.

They report that the first challenge is a conservative approach itself, focusing on individual line extension renovation rather than developing a broader portfolio that also includes bold, big ideas.
The second challenge is the “invention” trap. By this Accenture means over-reliance on the invention process itself to produce success and relative lack of systematic, enterprise-wide processes capable of commercializing inventions into products or services at scale, bringing them to market in a sufficiently timely fashion and reaping the expected returns.
What can companies do to improve disappointing performance and overcome the obstacles to innovation according to the Accenture report?
Those organizations that have a holistic, formal system in place for innovation, consistently report better outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction from their innovation investment. For example, in terms of “initial idea generation,” 43
percent of the companies with such systems in place report they are very satisfied in contrast to 24 percent with only an informal system.
You can access the whole report here, http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Why-Low-Risk-Innovation-Costly.pdf

Another Brilliant Idea I wish I had thought of first: KidCampz

We will all remember the joy of building a tent or camp – whether that was in the great outdoors or in the safety of our own homes.

A start-up called #KidCampz have simply made the spontaneity a little easier by providing a ready made kit to build any number of kits / scenes



Visionary Londoners prototype a new way for urban communities to localize the production of fresh, sustainable food.

This is just awesome. It’s a shipping container that contains a farm – well a greenhouse under which is large tank for a fish farm – you only need add water to create a closed-loop environment. Plants are grown in the greenhouse – up to 200 kilograms of salad each year, some of which provides a food source for the fish – it will provide up to 60kgs of fish a year. Their waste is then pumped-up to the greenhouse in order to fertilise the plants. Ingenious or what!



#BrilliantIdea. The coolest garden workspace

I spend a lot of time waiting for my kids at sailing clubs around Europe and a lot of that time is in my campervan, listening to my favourite music and working on my laptop. I have a inverter built into the van to power my computer so I am pretty much self sustaining.

More and more of us are working from home nowadays and I have actually found myself working in my van on my driveway.

The idea is to create a flatpacked kit – essentially a shed that can be built in the back garden for a home office, but in the shape of the classic VW campervan. Image

It will have a lower floor to make it easy to standup without hitting your head. The interior will be insulated and have powered-up with lights for those early starts and late evenings.

The kit will be ordered with a range of colours, including primed in grey so that the new owner can paint it themselves.

David Cameron promises £1m ‘Longitude Prize’ for BIG ideas

It will be fascinating to see how this pans out. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22892443

It’s not the first time that Cameron has crowd-sourced’ ideas. When the torries first came to power they launched a similar campaign to gather ideas for saving money. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10877282)

Those of us ‘in the know’ saw the obvious flaws that didn’t seem to have been discussed;

– do you really believe that the reason why Local Councils are overspending is that they haven’t got any ideas on how to save money?

– who is going to decide which ideas to select?

– what message is it giving the idea originators who don’t hear anything back?(to name just a few)

They received 100,000 ideas. Did anyone hear or see anything about good new stories of ideas that were actually implemented? Could that be because the spin doctors forgot, or because the story wasn’t as good as they would have liked?

Interestingly this call to action is perhaps the opposite. Rather than looking for thousands of small money saving ideas, they are asking for a small number of ground breaking ideas and offering a prize.