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It was going to change everything about the way the university did overseas extension work.

It was going to triple funding for needy research projects.

It was going to be an innovative breakthrough in alumni fundraising.

These are some of the phrases used to describe a big idea to crowdsource funding for some university work in the developing world.

But in the end, it turned out to be none of those things. The project flopped, and everything associated with it took a dive.


As it turns out, virtually no resources were allocated to the execution of the idea. The project had been announced by the dean of a college, bragged about by the university president, held up as an example of innovation by the provost, and no fewer than three vice presidents and associate vice presidents took credit for the idea.

How big was the actual team? One half-time IT employee. This poor guy was tasked with setting up the website, managing the technical backend, creating marketing content, and even setting up a booth at the occasional involvement fair.

Or put another way: everyone was in the charge, but hardly anyone showed up for work.

Sure, everything starts with an idea. But talk is cheap. The team that implements the idea is far more important than the originator the idea. Chances are the idea isn’t even unique! Plenty of people may be thinking of working on the exact thing you are thinking of right now. But the institution we will be talking about five years from now won’t be the one that had the original idea. It will be the one that executed it right.

Have a great idea that needs great execution? We would love to talk to you. We take great ideas from great institutions and turn them into tangible materials that WORK.

Interested in working with us?