Program Details

  • Target Audience:For people leaders and their teams who are looking for both a creative inspiration and an innovative jump-start to a new way of seeing their products, services, processes or relationships.
  • Number of Participants:The Idea Factory is intended for a minimum group size of eight participants and a maximum of 36. Multiple sets of 36 can be easily accommodated in large conference settings.
  • Program Duration:The program is a three-hour simulation experience, but is often extended to a one or two-day customized, team interactive innovation lab.
  • Program Delivery:The Idea Factory can be used as a facilitated intact team laboratory or as a multi-team or individual learning experience.

Learning Outcomes

  • Empathy: What problem are you solving? Understanding and exploring what others see and feel, even if one does not see and feel the same things.
  • Ideation: What innovation solutions can you create? Developing the challenge statement by describing it as potential successful ideas in action and a means to solving the challenge.
  • Story: Who do you need to influence to ensure your idea is applied and makes an impact? Learning how to build support for an idea by creating a clear, compelling, dynamic and emotionally engaging story.


“The experience culminates in each team creating a ‘breakthrough product’ and competing to win the customer’s attention and loyalty.”


Summary of the Experience

Participants in individual Innovation Consulting Companies (ICCs) learn about the once-great Idea Factory that has suddenly and mysteriously fallen on hard times. At one time, everyone wanted to work at the Idea Factory because it created such innovative products and services. However, something suddenly and drastically changed. It’s a mystery that needs to be solved! The simulation provides clues as to both why the products were so innovative in the first place, and how to find and keep innovation alive within the organization. Over the course of a fun, engaging, and competitive three hours, the Innovation Consulting Companies discover the three factors that drove the Idea Factory to success and what eventually led to its downfall. Each company leverages their learning to build an innovation strategy that will ensure the Idea Factory gets back to its once dominant, creative heights. The experience culminates in each team creating a ‘breakthrough product’ and competing to win the customer’s attention and loyalty.

The Idea Factory is an interactive and productive innovation experience. The lab component is designed to set the stage for creative breakthrough and involves participants learning and immediately applying ‘Practical Innovation Thinking’ to a fun and challenging, simulated product and service. They learn and apply ‘Innovation Tools’ to create opportunities for themselves, their teams and their company. The laboratory can be used off-the-shelf, as a three-hour workshop, or it can be customized in one or two formats to fit your organization’s specific needs. The exercises are enjoyable and engaging and are built from significant longitudinal research, with a focus on applied creativity, innovation and differentiation.


Three-Hour Format: During the simulation, participants apply the innovation processes they’ve learned in a group exercise that requires them to pitch an idea for a breakthrough product and service to a prominent simulated company. Their ideas and lessons learned come to life as the facilitator provides a culminating debrief of the creative experience.

Customized One- or Two-Day Program: When customized for clients into a one- or two-day format, the Idea Factory becomes a creative and engaging ‘open-space’ simulation. It is designed to provide the tools for teams to turn their aspirations into creative products, processes and breakthrough innovations in real time. The methodology inside the Idea Factory is based on research into the holistic process of innovation that begins with empathy and ends with impact. It also includes the importance of storytelling and of being able to include others in new ideas and directions.



The Idea Factory has been successfully used in multiple industries and settings around the world. Daimler Chrysler has leveraged The Idea Factory for thousands of its managers. Health Canada has integrated The Idea Factory into its middle management training. Microsoft incorporated The Idea Factory into the opening of a significant leadership change process in China.

Client: Microsoft

What Our Clients Say

“This was a high- energy, thought-provoking experience for our leaders and teams. Perfect to open our Innovation Initiative in China.”

Microsoft Executive

Client - Microsoft

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