Creating your ‘Dream on a Page’ – a viable 100 day plan to stress test your brilliant idea

how to create your dream on a page

Once you’ve brainstormed a number of ideas and identified the one you want to test you are ready to create you ‘Dream on a Page’.

This proven seven step methodology will allow you to create a simple but powerful visual plan of your idea.

The plan summarises your overall vision, the primary goal of your initial (100 day) Proof of Concept, your starting and expected end point during the Proof of Concept phase, the principal activities which need to be completed, the key desired outcome (and how they will be measured) and finally the Critical Success Factors.

Avril has been a successful Technology and Programme Management leader for a number of years working on key initiatives for some of the world`s leading companies. Unfortunately Avril’s life took a sudden downward turn when she discovered a lump in her chest. From that moment on Avril entered the complex cancer investigation and support system receiving some of the best and dedicated care which rapidly identified the lump she had discovered was cancerous and would need surgery and chemotherapy to remove and prevent a reoccurrence.

So followed two years of intense cancer treatment and support from a wide variety of groups and organisations including the NHS and Macmillan Trust which thankfully resulted in Avril’s cancerous lumps being removed and her being declared in remission.

Avril is a bright, enthusiastic and intelligent person but understandably went through a roller coaster of emotions and experiences often receiving or discovering (through her own research) complex and on occasions contradictory advice.

Coming to the end of her treatment Avril kept thinking that there must be a better, or at the very least, smoother way through the “Cancer Journey”.

Avril was mindful that if she found it hard, confusing and challenging then surely many other people would have the same experience.

Out of this life-changing event an idea started to form for Avril. What if all the necessary information on different cancer types, support networks and local resources (including specialist shops) were available in a central place and available for all?

Avril had spent literally hours, days and weeks collating the information relevant to her breast cancer condition and had scoured many resources – some on the internet, but also paper leaflets, journals and local shops.

Beginning by testing the idea with a small, trusted group of friends and acquaintances and slowing expanding the circle.

Understandably, everyone close to Avril though the idea was good. This had the potential to dramatically improve the lives of people impacted by cancer through being able to access the right information, in the right level of detail at the right time.

Before going further with the concept there were a number of big “Why” questions to answer.

Why Avril? Why now? and Why hadn’t someone done this already?

As part of her journey of discovering the answers to these essential questions Avril shared her big idea with me. We talked about how to test the concept and worked through the Dream on a Page methodology.

I offered to run a Workshop to discover and define the necessary information to run a 100 Day Proof of Concept.

Avril and I first identified the right people to participate in a this critical brainstorming session. Each person was carefully chosen for their specific knowledge, expertise and life experience.

I then showed Avril an example of a ‘Dream on a Page’ so she could see what we were planning to achieve in the brainstorming session, and prepared an agenda which would get everyone to open up and interact in a collaborative and open way – including a fun ‘ice breaker’.

I will add here that I also recommended to Avril that we select an unusual and memorable location for the workshop – for the specific reason of stimulating people creative juices and making the session stick in people’s minds long after the specific event.

Defining the Vision.
After the ice breaker sessions we started the workshop by clearly, yet simply defining the vision of the idea Avril was planning to create.

This is often a hard step, as what can be explained in 50 – 100 words (or sometimes more!) becomes very tough to boil down into a singe sentence.

Similar to cooking, knowing what to leave out is as important as what to include. Avril explained her idea and vision in glorious detail and then each person in the group summarised back their understanding. I carefully captured the key words and phrases.

The vision is at the heart of this methodology and it’s important to spend sufficient time crafting and honing the words until the words resonates with everyone in the session.

After 30 minutes of defining and refining the best mix of words we hit upon the following vision statement and knew we had captured the essence of Avril’s idea ‘A survivor’s guide through cancer. Home for trusted knowledge and resources’.

Most importantly Avril read this phrase and said

“Yes! That’s exactly what I want to create!”

At that point we were ready to move onto the second step.

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