After participating in a series of mission trips, I felt compelled to find a way to tell the stories and support people, projects and missions that were out in the world making a real impact. At the time, my professional career was focused on ideation, product innovation and strategy, and one thing that always bothered me was that the first question that would be asked was "How much money will this make us?" And while this is a very important criteria in business, I found myself continually asking myself a different question...
It was at this moment that I started a journey to discover how it might be possible to combine best practices in strategic planning, business development, agile software development, ideation and project management and turn them in a simple, easy-to-follow and community-supported system optimized to nuture the development and execution of ideas focused on doing good.
As is often the case, the answer to this question didn’t come easily. After countless hours of prayer, thought, reading of books, attending training, digging into action plans, analysis of dashboards and spreadsheets, I threw up my hands and went for a walk in the woods, and it is there that I ran into a vision that stopped me in my tracks, and an epiphany occurred.
Finally, I had my answer. Standing before me, backlit by the morning sun, stood a grand old oak tree. It’s massive limbs sprawled in all directions, and all around the ground were scattered hundreds, maybe thousands, of tiny acorns. I spent a moment in awe of the fact that something so small could turn into something so majestic, and then I really thought about how it happens.
Apart from a very basic strategy locked inside it’s DNA, an acorn has no real plan. It hasn’t read any of the top-selling books on business. It doesn’t have any high-dollar consultants. It’s vision statement is simply that it wants to be a big ‘ole tree! And with that it starts a slow, methodical process, to establish roots and develop branches for the primary purpose of establishing a solid foundation, gaining stability, gathering nutrients and collecting energy needed to thrive and mature into the mighty oak locked inside.
This realization turned into a voyage of discovery into learning how acorns grow into trees, and subsequently, drawing on those lessons learned in nature, the acorn2Oak Process was created to guide members through a series of stages and easy-to-follow process specifically designed to enable an acorn (idea or dream) to mature into a thriving, majestic oak.
After a few years of conception, refinement, thought and prayer, I've finally decided it's time to launch a prototype of the process in hopes of gathering new insights and input. As with any process, refinement is expected.
A general overview of the process can be found here.