How to Foster Great Ideas

Here is a guest post by Jon Edlin. Jon is the Marketing Manager for the Nazarene Publishing House. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. If you would like to guest post, read about it here.


When I walk into my office every day, a colorful 6’ x 8‘ magnetic board greets me. It holds magazine ads, postcards and flyers from a variety of places.  When my marketing team sees something inspiring, they post that advertisement on the board.  The board is also used as a dry erase board, so our ideas for new ads and marketing campaigns can also be displayed.

This board stands as a visual reminder of my goal to continually encourage creativity and collaborative thinking within my department.   Although many of the ideas that are brought to the board are unsuccessful, there are the occasional ones that work out.  Here is the story of one that did:

It was a typical Tuesday morning.  I sat down at my desk, turned on my computer and glanced at my inbox.  An email from my team member with “Check this out” in the subject line caught my eye.  This email provided a link to “”  Out of curiosity, I clicked the link and discovered the most interesting resume I have ever seen.

A graphic designer from the UK had designed his resume with just a picture of his face and a QR code in his mouth.  The concept was to scan the QR code and place a smart phone over his mouth.  The QR code then led to a video of his mouth that audibly described his qualifications for the job, bringing his resume to life. Wow! This was board-worthy!

I jumped out of my seat, ran to the magnetic board and started to draw. Could we use this concept to make our ads come to life?  My team started to brainstorm.  After an hour of drawing stick figures and writing down multiple tag lines, we chose a product that we hoped would mesh with this marketing tool.  We decided to promote our book The First 100 Days using this method.

This book is about one pastor’s journey through his first 100 days at a new church.  We decided to have pastors talk about things they wish they would have known in their first 100 days as pastor.  We took a picture of the pastor’s face and added a QR code over his mouth.  Then we shot a video of his mouth sharing 30 seconds of insight.

When the project was finished, you could place your smart phone over the QR code on the ad and watch the pastor’s mouth share about his journey.  We had found a way to make our advertisement come to life!

Once the ad was printed, we were amazed at all of the positive feedback we received via Twitter and Facebook.  Even Cameron Strang, founder of Relevant Magazine, called it simple but innovative and suggested that we submit it for an ad industry award. After many failed attempts, it was a huge morale-booster for my team to have an idea that became a success.

Questions: What kind of environment does your team thrive on?  Are ideas shared openly?

Please join the conversation by commenting, as well as sharing the post. Thanks.



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

14 thoughts on “How to Foster Great Ideas”

  1. Wow! Very cool idea to begin with and a great example of borrowing and applying it to something totally different. Goes to show you don’t always have to have the original idea to be relevant and impactful.

  2. All I can say is WOW – and “The First 100 Days” looks like a great book! And what a great marketing idea – love it. And I guess it gets me to thinking about the “first 100 days” of anything. I just joined an on-line community known as “Active Rain” a few weeks ago – mostly realtors and mortgage professionals. But this blog has me thinking of things I wish I had known in the “first 100 days….” of joining that community. And then you think of the “…first 100 days as a new believer…” or the “….first 100 days – Okay – I may have to blog that!

  3. I love reading posts like these because I always walk away with more ideas. I had been thinking about putting up a whiteboard in my office for ideas and such. This offers some good insight. One of the keys to a good idea is following up with action. I think this is one area where many people fall short. Maybe you could write a post on execution of ideas?!

    1. Eric, the same people who fall short with execution of ideas will fall short with execution of the advise in the post about execution. Think about this.

      1. HAHAHA…that’s awesome! I am going to push back a little on that though. I believe you are correct to a certain extent, but I have found that a TON of folks have never been taught how to execute in the first place. Those folks have a good chance. The rest…will fall short. 🙂

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