With women driving success stories across every field, the world has seen a remarkable shift in the leadership pattern since the turn of the millennium. Many current business leaders are women, who have forged their own paths to success and serve as role models for many others.
One such inspirational woman is Lynn Wood, the leading lady and Founder of IdeaSpies.
IdeaSpies: An Innovative Platform
IdeaSpies is an open innovation platform for creative ideas, new discoveries, and original thinkers that breathes creativity and innovation. Their stories, which are simply written pieces of 100 words or fewer, are meant to broaden readers’ minds and stimulate their imaginations. They disseminate concepts that have the potential to improve lives. IdeaSpies came into existence in the year 2016 with a mission to accelerate the spread of ideas with the potential to change our world for the better. When you think about it, every innovation is based on an idea.
Sailing a Glorious Journey: Setting the Sails
Lynn is a creative business leader who sets new standards in the media industry. She is a harbinger of change. Early in her career, she developed an interest in innovation. She was a member of the American Express Card launch team for Australia, New Zealand, and later, North East Asia. She was also a member of the groups that founded the first wholesale property syndicate, and the first international property fund in Australia. Lynn has held the position of chair on a number of boards. She was among the first three women in Australia to hold a board position with a publicly traded organisation and one of the pioneers of a portfolio career.
Boards she has served on include the IFRS Foundation, Financial Reporting Council, Foreign Investment Review Board, Noni B, HSBC Bank Australia, Macquarie Goodman Group, Schroders Australia, MS Australia, Save the Children Australia, and Women’s College at the University of Sydney.
She has also founded, managed, and sold two SME firms in addition to chairing audit committees and serving on compliance committees. Currently she is an Area Councillor for The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA).
The Inspiration behind the Initiation of IdeaSpies from Lynn’s Mouth
I was on a ferry to Vancouver Island with a friend, Sabra Brock, and a guide said “Promote what you love, not bash what you hate”. I was so tired of negative news that I thought there should be a platform showcasing the positive and clever ideas happening around the world, explained simply. I had been travelling a lot for work and saw many ideas that are solutions to many current-day problems. Given my diverse background, I thought I had the skills to develop a platform featuring these ideas. Sabra agreed, and we started collecting ideas to pilot the concept on Facebook.
The Target clientele
People can search for ideas on the various topics the team covers for free using IdeaSpies. Anyone with a passion for invention can gain. Students working on a project, business people looking for new ideas, or members of organisations looking for ways to expand their operations can all be among them.
IdeaSpies’ Initial Challenges: Overcoming Hurdles Like a Pro
There were three major challenges:
- Selecting a developer. After piloting the concept on Facebook, Lynn and Sabra decided that WordPress would be the best website builder to use, and Lynn took a course in it to get it going. Very quickly, they recognised that they needed a professional developer. They found one through an online search platform, but it was the wrong person, so had to start again. Sabra, who was the co-founder at the time, suggested one of the IT graduates of the university at which she worked. He and his team in Sri Lanka have had the skills to continue developing IdeaSpies.
- Gathering ideas to feature. Initially, the ideas came only from Lynn and Sabra. To grow IdeaSpies, however, they needed many more ideas. At that stage, Sabra decided to continue her full-time role at a university, while Lynn decided to scale down her other paid roles and focus on IdeaSpies. It was suggested that Lynn invite selected people to become voluntary editors of the topics covered. They now have 17 editors, including Lynn, sharing nearly 7,000 ideas explained simply over 19 topics ranging from agriculture to wellness. Sabra is on the IdeaSpies Advisory Board.
- Scaling IdeaSpies. The concept is well-liked by those who are aware of IdeaSpies and are enthusiastic about innovation, and the team has received encouragement to scale it. A few years ago, over 3,000 idea posts were moved from WordPress to a new framework. More recently IdeaSpies has been rebranded to give it a more professional appearance on the recommendation of the Advisory Board.
The Unique Leadership Approach
Lynn Wood’s approach is to provide positive guidance so people who support IdeaSpies can be creative and experiment. IdeaSpies Editors don’t work for money. They are enthusiastic about sharing ideas that help people, just like she is. They are the Stars of IdeaSpies.
Insights on the Gender Pay Gap
Lynn has had experience as a coach and as a mentor urging women to have more faith in their skills and capacities. At IdeaSpies, there is no gender pay disparity. Except for the Head of IT, no one is paid anything.
To be remembered for sharing ‘Ideas that do Good’
Lynn aspires to be known for sharing ideas that do good. She has always been fascinated by ideas that can make people’s lives better. When people discuss problems, she starts thinking about ideas as solutions.
The Road Ahead: Professional and Professional Goals
Lynn’s vision is for IdeaSpies to be the pre-eminent source of innovative ideas for Australians and globally.
From a personal point of view, Lynn encourages creativity, particularly in the the young. One of the most watched TedTalks of all time asks “Do schools kill creativity?” She encouraged creativity in her children and is encouraging children more broadly through a new initiative in schools called UpRising.
Lynn wraps up by saying, “When we look around us, we see that there are many problems in the world, but there are also many ideas as solutions. We encourage cheerscrolling- “Instead of scrolling through your news and social media clicking on feeds that upset you or you get mad about….you instead spend your time looking through content on sites that provide positive content that makes you feel cheerful.”- like IdeaSpies. Please join us https://ideaspies.com/register
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