The Book

The Idea Agent is a practical idea management handbook, aimed at people who want to take an active role in creative processes across all areas. It combines the creatively wild with the rationally structured techniques for innovation to provide readers with a varied toolbox of proven idea management methodology. From discussing how to identify a problem or opportunity, to describing techniques for idea creation, it offers a step-by-step guide to building creative concepts for the marketplace. With built-in exercises and applications, this book is an ideal working companion for any innovator. All with a Scandinavian design that makes it easy to use.

The authors are the founders of the innovation consulting firm Idélaboratoriet, founded in 2000. It has since the start been a leading player on an international level with clients like Tetra Pak, Ericsson, Carlsberg, Sony Mobile, Borealis, Ruta N Colombia and Hyper Island New York.

“The Idea Agent is an educational pearl; it gives insight in the authors many years of experience with managing innovation and creative processes in a way that puts this book in a league of its own. There is only one thing to say after having read this book: Welcome to the world of creativity, ideas and opportunity. The Idea Agent is a book that makes you both wise and happy.” Uffe Elbæk Danish Minister of Culture and founder of the Kaospilot University


“Most companies don’t have a shortage of ideas, but a shortage of the right ones. How to best find and develop ideas is the very foundation for all innovation. The Idea Agent hits the bull’s eye with a practical handbook you want to read again and again.” Jørgen Thorball Director of Novozymes Biotech Business Development, co-founder of the Danish innovation council and venture capitalist.
“I congratulate the writers and the forthcoming readers to a book that is truly hands-on. I am impressed by all the practical process design suggestions that is in the book. The Idea Agent is a practical guide on how to reach the window of opportunity in the age of creativity” Leif Edvinsson Professor, Intellectual Capital, University of Lund – School of Economics and Global Brain of the Year 1998
“Simple, bello y funcional; Idea Agent aplica los principios del diseño escandinavo a un manual para la creatividad.
/ Simple, beautiful and practical; The Idea Agent applies the principles of Scandinavian design to a creativity handbook.” Juan Felipe Gonzalez Gerente de Gestión de la Innovación / Innovation Management Director of Grupo Argos
“Fantastic book, get your ideation on – The Idea Agent: The Handbook on Creative Processes” (On Twitter) Creative Social (@CreativeSocial) Creative Social is a collective of the world’s top creative talent. Along with CS news, we cover advertising, digital and social media news and trends.
“Now I have had read your book and it is very good. […] As I said, I really like your book. It contains pretty much everything I have been wondering about.” Viggo Kavling Writer and Swedish media guru
“The advantages of the book: A display of how the idea driven company should work. The writing is pedagogical and easy to comprehend. The book is generously filled with exercises and techniques. The different format and design together with descriptions, symbols and colors work as clear signals. A “schoolbook” at it’s best. … and the disadvantages: This book deserves no minuses. It is altogether too well made for that.” Book review in the leading Swedish leadership magazine CHEF
“Without Creativity there is no Innovation, but without Innovation creative ideas wither and die. This excellent book describes the role and vital contribution of the Idea Agent, the sympathetic leader who guides his team through the tangled and difficult process of marshalling creative discovery and transforming it into to innovative products. The second half of the book is a comprehensive and invaluable description of the many tools that the Idea Agent can use to facilitate this process, but the overwhelming message is that the process must be managed, that one must never lose sight of the need which is the necessary starting point for all creative endeavor, and that it is the Ideal Agent who is key to success.” Colin Alexander Chairman, EU Incubator Forum, and Head of Consultancy, Oxford Innovation Ltd
“The growing importance of innovation can almost be measured by the explosion in the number of books published on the subject. But despite the acknowledged need to make innovation more accessible, so many of books seem to make it complex or specialize on one area of innovation. In this sense, Idéagenten is a great achievement. It is great to see all the key aspects of idea management brought together so practically in one place, in a book that doesn’t over claim and is a pleasure to read.” Paul Sigsworth Creativity Development, Nestlé Rowntree
“Andréas and Jonas, I feel honored to have my thoughts included in the spanish edition of your fantastic book. My words are true and reflect exactly what The Idea Agent has become for me, a companion for inspiration. Many people, me included, spend part of our lives thinking of ways to affect positively other peoples lives, you’ve done it, in your book you’re leaving a legacy that I’m sure will last a long time and will benefit many in the same way.”
“En muchas empresas incluimos la Innovación como elemento estratégico para potenciar la capacidad competitiva del negocio. Damos este paso porque estamos convencidos que despertar la creatividad en nuestros colaboradores y canalizar sistemática y organizadamente las ideas que se generan aumenta notoriamente las posibilidades de éxito y reduce sustancialmente el riesgo y la adivinación. Pero el reloj del mercado es implacable y demanda esquemas prácticos y ágiles, precisamente lo que encontramos en The Idea Agent, un cúmulo de ideas y herramientas para planear, diseñar, implementar y mantener el Proceso Creativo liviano, escalable y versátil, a nuestra medida. Cargo el libro en mi mochila, me acompaña a todas partes, las primeras veces lo leí buscando información, hoy abro sus páginas buscando inspiración.” Germán Serrano Director de Innovación, Fabricato
“The Idea Agent offers, in a pedagogic and easy way, insight and tools for facilitating efficient group work when solving different problems and challenges. The book is suitable for both students and professionals.” Catharina Henje Researcher, lecturer and course responsible at Umeå Institute of Design (The Idea Agent is part of the course literature at Umeå Institute of Design that was ranked the Best Design School in the world by Red Dot Award 2013)
“In a world where most business books are conceptualizing themselves into useless oblivion, it is refreshing to get my hands on a book that is packed with down to earth tools. This is a book you immediately can work with, not one you just read in order to file it under: ‘Duh.. sorta interesting’. A book so practical and useful, it should be marked with an official DIY-seal of approval. Very practical and tool-oriented. Most books will give you a concept, but require consulting in order to become useful. Here you get the down-to-earth goodies included in the book. This book fills a gap in my collection. Creativity and innovation doesn’t have to be chaotic and confused, and the book provides hands-on tools on how to lure out and manage a company’s inherent ideas.” Patrick Stahl Mr. Knusperfrisch and former Fluidmind business revolutionary
“The Idea Agent is an excellent contribution in increasing the understanding and knowledge of the processes that lays the foundation for successful idea management. The idea process is often poorly conducted in many companies because of the lack of knowledge. This book can fill some of the knowledge gaps that exist by presenting many practical methods and techniques which are the basis for an effective use of the intrinsic creativity of your staff.” Sven Andrén Global process driver, Idea Management, Tetra Pak
“Creativity and innovation plays an ever increasing part in our society, but unfortunately we are often not equipped enough to facilitate idea generation. ‘The Idea Agent’ addresses this problem and gives a well structured guidance into the idea process and all of its phases. The book is must for the beginner and a welcome inspiration for the expert, and it does us all a favor by pointing out the importance of structured creativity!” Michael Thomsen Managing Director R&D, Interactive Institute and former Managing Director R&D, LEGO Media International
“I liked the book a lot. We used it in a cooperation between design and marketing students when developing and testing concept ideas. We used the book in one way, but there are so many things you can try with the book. So shortly, very good. Thanks!” Minna-Maarit Jaskari Manager, New festival concepts for the City of Vaasa, Finland
“A book I’m enjoying reading right now. Good tool for anyone in a creative leadership role, for me it’s a great refresher for my speeches and workshops on creativity and innovation.” Sahar El-Nadi Speaker, writer, photographer and instructor on modern media, Cairo, Egypt.

Buy The Book

Ordering information

The Idea Agent is available from all the major on- and offline bookstores. If you prefer to get it straight from the source, then use the following links:

For orders of 20 copies or more, please contact us for an offer

The Authors

Jonas Michanek

Jonas is a serial entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He has besides Idélaboratoriet, founded organizations like the food innovation agency Food To Happen, the non-profit SE Forum (Social Entrepreneurship Forum) and the grass root foundation Innovation Circus. Jonas has a B.A. from Uppsala University, has attended the Kaospilot program and has a Global EMBA from Stockholm School of Economics. In his spare time he has also been working as a TV and Radio-host. Jonas has also written several other books about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Andréas Breiler

Andréas is a speaker and an educator at heart who has purposely been pursuing management-training positions his whole career. Former employers include: IBM, Framfab, Alfaskop and The Swedish Consulting Group. Andréas has also attended the Kaospilot University in Arhus and San Francisco. His long time passion for innovation, organizational development and training program design has established him as an expert -advisor and practitioner.