The Idea Brokers

There was an interesting article highlighted in Innovation Tools this week.  It's about Corporate Social Networks, and it brings up the role of Idea Brokers within a company.

The article focused mostly on large companies, and how creating social networks within the company can help spread ideas across disciplines and corporate silos.  It then talks about the value of rotating employees through different areas of business to foster the development of these networks, saying that these people often act as Idea Brokers across the company.

I hadn't used the term Idea Broker before, but I'm going to start.  For myself, and I'm sure for many consultants, it's one of the intangible services we provide that is of greatest value.  We often work with many different groups in a client organization, and are usually the ones who facilitate this type of idea exchange.  Since we also work for multiple clients in very different industries, we can mine valuable ideas from one company and apply the thinking in a non-competitive way to another company.  It's like we are the bees that cross pollinate the corporate landscape to foster innovation.

Of course, now I'm going to be thinking about the other types of intangible value we add.  Idea Brokering is a good term to describe the value of what we're doing.  What would we call the other types of intangible value we add?