This is a true story. I often talk about how powerful virtual idea generation is using our Expert Sourcing method. But just last week we were working on a project for a major pet food brand and my point was made, times ten. 

Inspiration from nothing.

Our method of idea generation, in short, includes four genius creative experts all working together virtually on a problem. On the virtual platform, they can see each other's ideas, build on them and riff on them until those polished gems emerge.

But usually each new thread starts with an idea. Last week one thread did not, but still lead to ideas.

Here's how it played out (names changed):

Lou was late to the session. Not terribly late, but a half day after the other three experts had been hammering out all kinds of great ideas. So he went in and notified the team he was aware of his absence...

Lou: Stuck in meetings today but will jump in late afternoon. Sorry I’m not “here” yet. Don’t worry, I’ll dive in deep later. 

 Out of nothing, something. (Photo by  Warren Wong )

Out of nothing, something. (Photo by Warren Wong)

Most experts would have just left that alone, but this team was particularly frisky. I responded with a comment under Lou's post, sarcastically, and others hopped on.

Will: So your idea is to show dogs stuck in meetings? Or is it about getting animals to dive in deep in the backyard or something? Not sure I'm following this one. (jk)

Carter: Love the image of dogs around a conference table. The modern "Dogs around poker table." Brilliant. So simple. Lou you're crushing it. Pace yourself.

Mary: This is so digital.

But then, for Richard, apparently there was enough there to inspire not just sarcasm, but actual ideas.

Richard: Ha! So going off of this lol riff...  the "boardroom dogs" are talking about how pet food should be made. Each video starts like a painting that looks like "poker dogs" and then it goes live action...

There was more but I have to cut it off there, as it ultimately became an actual idea we presented to the client.

But think about that. One expert just notifies the others that he's going to be late. A little building and riffing later and we've got a fresh new idea.

I knew it was powerful. But I didn't know it was that powerful.

But then I was reminded of our mantra: nothing is unthinkable.

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WILL BURNS IS FOUNDER & CEO OF IDEASICLE, AND A FORBES CONTRIBUTOR.

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