Thoughtstream, a comprehensive online stakeholder engagement system, makes the Rocket Builders 11th annual Ready to Rocket list. The list names 25 private
BC companies positioned for growth in the rapidly growing information and communications technology sector.
The evolution of the online survey, Thoughtstream supports leaders to engage
their communities as they make critical decisions. The software allows diverse communities to contribute individual thoughts on an issue and then arrive at a shared understanding by collectively assigning value to those thoughts.
“We are thrilled to be considered one of the top new BC companies by the well respected Rocket Builders,” said Jim Firstbrook, Thoughtstream CEO. “Our solutions provide decision-makers with qualitative answers to their specific issues, creating buy in with stakeholders, building trust and informing strategic decision-making. Inclusion in the Ready to Rocket 2013 list helps position us for success.”
Ready to Rocket is a unique business recognition list that profiles technology companies with the greatest potential for revenue growth. Each year, based on analysis of trends that will drive growth in the information technology sector, Rocket Builders identifies the top private companies that are best positioned to capitalize
on the trends for growth. This selection methodology has been an accurate predictor of growth with "Ready to Rocket" companies exceeding the industry growth rate. Also, many of these companies raise investment capital and each
year many of the profiled "Ready to Rocket' companies are acquired. www.readytorocket.com.
“Each year when we choose the Ready to Rocket companies, we are looking for those companies that have best matched technical innovation with market opportunity. Thoughtstream is an excellent example of the right technology for
the right customers at the right time.” said Reg Nordman, Managing Partner,
Thoughtstream is a software and consulting company committed to building
and supporting a comprehensive online system for stakeholder engagement. Thoughtstream was founded in 2009 by innovative software developer Jim Firstbrook, highly respected business leader Amos Michelson and charismatic community engagement consultant Dave MacLeod. They shared a belief that powerful online tools could be developed to leverage the power of the internet
to resolve challenges by making meaningful group interactions efficient, inclusive and insightful.
in Red Deer
Important decisions like school district boundary changes often ignite a number of impassioned responses, especially when parents and community members feel they are not being truly listened to. With an upcoming boundary review decision that would potentially affect more than 5000 students and their families, Red Deer Public Schools’ Superintendent Piet Langstraat wanted to ensure that parents and community stakeholders were involved and heard.
Previous decisions of similar scale and size had resulted in extra costs and time lost due to disappointed or confused parents. According to Langstraat, “The last time we made a similar decision, we were inundated with emails, phone calls etc. from frustrated families and we had extra town hall meetings to deal with the result. We learned a great deal from that process.”
This time, using Thoughtstream to engage parents, the process was a huge success. "After the decision was announced, I received a grand total of two emails from people who had issues with the decision that was made," Mr. Langstraat said. "I am very satisfied with the results. I believe this speaks to the value of getting inclusive input from the very beginning and putting out genuine choices."
While parents were initially skeptical, Langstraat found that the Thoughtstream process allowed them to see how their thoughts were represented, shared and collectively prioritized with the community. Langstraat says it was during these middle and end steps of the Thoughtstream process that parents “realized their input was authentic and they'd be listened to."
Using Thoughtstream, Langstraat was able to engage the school community in a shared learning process by which each school in the district was presented with five new boundary restructuring options to consider. Participants were then asked to contribute their thoughts on the key challenges and benefits of each solution. After responses were received they were converged into key themes and then sent back out to be prioritized by the participants. The process resulted in 2500 thoughts, 13000 stars assigned to priorities and, as Langstraat pointed out, only 2 emails expressing dissatisfaction.
Principals played a key role in throughout the process. “They have the connection with their school communities so their role in facilitating the process contributed to its success,” said Mr. Langstraat. “The process was easy and their involvement didn’t require a huge amount of time. What’s even more powerful is they see many other opportunities to use Thoughtstream within their schools with students, parents and community to support teaching and learning as well as planning.”
"I was very pleased by the response we received from all of our schools including ones not directly affected by the changes," Mr. Langstraat said. "During this process, one school principal from an unaffected school reported that he had twice as many parents respond to this Thoughtstream as he does in their annual parent satisfaction survey.”
The end result of the process included prioritized thoughts from all the elementary schools of Red Deer but also a better understanding and appreciation of the specific challenges and opportunities which needed to be addressed in order to implement the changes successfully.
"Superintendents and public leaders often find themselves in challenging situations where they are trying to make the best decision to benefit the most people.” Mr. Langstraat said. “I’d like to help spread the word because I think superintendents everywhere should be using Thoughtstream to make decisions by actively engaging their communities."
The Thoughtstream team is honoured to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Langstraat and Red Deer Schools and look forward to seeing the results of future engagement initiatives in the district.
Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd., creator of community learning software Thoughtstream™, is excited to announce the creation of a "Community Voice” website for the parents, students and community members of School District Number 27 in British Columbia.
The website was created to publicly share insights and learning from a comprehensive Student and Parent Options Engagement Initiative recently conducted by the leadership and Board in School District #27.
"We are so pleased to have been able to partner with Thoughtstream throughout this public consultation process." says Mark Thiessen, SD #27 Superintendent. “While we have taken some standard approaches – holding public meetings and receiving feedback through written correspondence – this software tool allowed so many more community members to have a voice that was much clearer and more powerful than what ordinary survey feedback has the potential to do.”
This Options Engagement Initiative was put in place to give members of the school community a chance to weigh in, learn about and contribute to the direction of their district. Overall, this engagement initiative resulted in the collection of 4,474 thoughts from the community as well as 18,487 stars assigned to priorities.
Thoughtstream software was used to capture the community’s thoughts as well as give community members a chance to review and assign value to the ideas they found most valuable. The ideas the community ranked highest are the ones featured on the Community Voice website. The website also features summaries and full reports of the engagement process.
"Our entire Thoughtstream team is excited to continue to be a part of the innovative and exciting engagement initiatives occurring in School District #27" adds Dave MacLeod, Thoughtstream VP. "We feel this leadership team is leading the way in open government and public engagement by prioritizing the importance of comprehensive stakeholder input."
Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd., creator of the community learning and engagement application Thoughtstream, is excited to announce that they have received the award for Most Innovative Company from the Kootenay Association of Science and Technology.
These awards are hosted by KAST every four years and honor Kootenay-based companies, organizations and individuals in four different categories: Most Innovative Company, Most Promising Start-Up, Most Innovative Entrepreneur and Most Innovative Organization. The celebration this year took place in Nelson and the winners in the four categories were Thoughtstream, Timely, Fiona Richards and The Selkirk Geospatial Research Center, respectively.
According to Kelvin Saldern, Executive Director of KAST, "There are many challenges to success for Kootenay-based software companies so its great to celebrate Thoughtstream's incredible achievement providing such a useful and innovative solution for community learning to customers across the country and into the USA and New Zealand. KAST is committed to supporting our successful local technology companies and we strongly encourage others in the Kootenays and across the province to do the same."
The entire Thoughtstream team is very honored and excited to be awarded this prize and look forward to continuing innovative practices well into the future. Click here to see the nomination video about Thoughtstream or here to learn more about KAST’s Innovation Awards.
Last month the Thoughtstream team was excited to release the new Thoughtstream iPhone application to the public. In order to both review and plan improvements for the iPhone application, a Thoughtstream engagement process was conducted on customers, the results of which can be viewed here.
This application is a key step forward in the development of Thoughtstream as an easy-to-use and accessible tool for everyone. By using Thoughtstream to evaluate the expectations and responses of our user base, the Fulcrum Management Solutions Team will be better prepared and aware of how to improve it.
The Thoughtstream iPhone App Engagement Report found that the main concerns of the Thoughtstream iPhone customer base with regards to mobile communications include the inability to “unplug” as well as a growing dependence on “instant responses” versus “well-thought out ones”. Interestingly, a key benefit prioritized by customers was that the new Thoughtstream iPhone app would give participants more chances to think about and write their thoughts.
Using Thoughtstream for product reviews is just one of the many ways the Fulcrum Management Solutions Team and others have used it. The concerns and ideas brought up in the Thoughtstream engagement report have been carefully considered and will be kept in mind as our teams continues to develop Thoughtstream products and expand the application to operate on other types of phones as well.
Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd., creator of the collaboration and engagement application Thoughtstream, is pleased to announce the official public release of the new Thoughtstream iPhone application.
Jim Firstbrook, CEO of Fulcrum says, "Thoughtstream has always aimed to be a highly accessible way for everyone to get involved in collaborative thought processes and decision-making. Making Thoughtstream easy to use on iPhones and tablets is another step forward in that direction."
The new Thoughtstream iPhone app will provide participants with the opportunity to contribute thoughts and prioritize ideas via their phones or tablets. Facilitators of Thoughtstreams will also be able to monitor and track incoming thoughts and star valuations from their mobile devices.
Learn more and download the new Thoughtstream iPhone app here.
Thoughtstream 1.6 completes beta testing today and the rollout to all customer systems begins. We've heard really good feedback from our beta sites about the new 1.6 features including improvements to converge, participant self register and many other usability changes we've made for facilitators. Detailed release notes can be found here.
Today Fulcrum Management Solutions is excited to announce that Thoughtstream engagement software will play an integral role in a large-scale strategic planning consultation process conducted by the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Board of Education.
This strategic planning process, which will take place over the next month, will include engagement with trustees and staff from each of the district's 40 school communities.
Superintendent Dave Hutchinson says, "we wanted to find accessible and effective ways to hear from parents, students, staff and the public. By combining face-to-face meetings with the online engagement process, we are giving everyone who has an interest an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the important conversations about the future of education in our district."
Dave MacLeod, VP of Thoughtstream says, "We're excited to work with SD68 on this trend setting community engagement exercise. By using both community meetings and our online engagement software, SD68 is combining the best aspects of the traditional approach to community engagement with the many benefits of meaningful online communication."
To learn more about Nanaimo - Ladysmith's strategic planning process visit the the school district's website.
To view Thoughtstream strategic planning templates visit our Thoughtstream tools and resources page.
Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd., creator of the online collaboration and engagement software Thoughtstream™, is pleased to announce the renewed subscription of the Interim First Nations Health Authority (formerly the First Nations Health Council).
The Interim First Nations Health Authority, dedicated to improving health care for British Columbia’s First Nations people, has been using collaboration to advance health outcomes in BC since 2007. Using Thoughtstream, The Interim First Nations Health Authority has been connecting with and training their
Community Hub Coordinators while continuously developing their collective decision-making capacity.
Mark Matthew, Manager of Regional Engagement for The Interim First Nations Health Authority says, “We are happy to continue to work with Thoughtstream
to effectively engage our staff and stakeholders in order to support our efforts to increase the health and well-being of First Nations children, families and communities.”
The Thoughtstream team is very excited to continue to be part of this
Learn more about The Interim First Nations Health Authority.
Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd., creator of the collaboration and engagement application Thoughtstream™, is excited to announce the renewed subscription of community-based social service agency, Axis Family Resources Ltd.
Axis Family Resources Ltd. (Formerly Cariboo Chilcotin Family Resources Ltd.) has been a valuable force in various regions throughout the North and Interior of British Columbia, delivering vital services and improving the lives of people in need for the past 20 years. Axis Family Resources has been using Thoughtstream to gather ideas from diverse and geographically divided service agencies and to collaboratively prioritize a vision and strategy for the organization and its partners.
Ann Smith from Axis Family Resources says, “We are really looking forward to continuing to use Thoughtstream to engage our partners, staff members and the communities we serve about meaningful strategies for improving and expanding our services across the Interior of BC”
The Thoughtstream team is thrilled to continue to be part of this important work.
We are beginning the beta testing of our next release, Thoughtstream 1.6. The biggest changes in 1.6 are in the converge step including the ability to create a thought (either by the facilitator or on behalf of a participant) and also the ability to assign a thought to more than 1 group. We have also added a new feature: Participant Self Register. This allows a facilitator to general a shareable link (aka URL) for a Ts, which can be posted on a website, tweeted or otherwise communicated outside of Ts. Those who follow this link will come to a page where they can enter their email address and be added to the Ts. Detailed release notes can be found here. If you are interested in being involved in beta please contact us via the contact page.
Our next release, Thoughtstream 1.5, completes beta testing today and the rollout to all customer system begins. 1.5 contains a massive improvement to our email sending reliability and display of email results in the user interface. Results from our beta testing has been impressive with emails much less likely to be tagged as spam. In addition 1.5 has a number of smaller changes including contact groups - our most requested feature. Detailed release notes can be found here.
Today we are announcing the successful close of our second investment round having raised $1M with the lead investor being First Generation Capital Inc. In addition we have been setting sales records and are tracking to our business plan financial projections. Click here to read the full press release.
We sent out our second newsletter. If you missed the mail, click here to view. Let us know if you'd like to be added to the mail list.
Educators and Administrators are loving Thoughtstream
We are proud to announce that schools and school districts across BC and Canada have really taken to Thoughtstream. We are now supporting hundreds of Thoughtstream facilitators across Canada and we have just been notified that we have passed our evaluation and will begin working with the BC Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium www.bcerac.ca We will also be presenting at various Superintendent and education conferences this fall as well as at the national independent school Heads and Chairs conference in Montreal. If you are attending any of these events in BC, Alberta or Quebec, drop by our booth and say hello.
Customer Engagement and Software Development
Today we are officially joined by Kevin Skelcher, Thoughtstream Sales Manager, Lea Thuot, Customer Engagement Coordinator and Frank Becker, Senior Software Developer. Each of our new team members bring a unique and essential aspect to our Thoughtstream team and we are set to continue developing and rolling Thoughtstream out across Canada and beyond. Learn more about our new members at our team
We are happy to announce we have just begun upgrading all of our Thoughtstream servers to our latest release: 1.4.0. Thoughtstream now has an upgraded Stream View, and Opt Out Feature along with Auto Reminders and Ts Templates.
Exciting stuff. Hope you like the new tools. Full details of the features in the release can be found here
We sent out our first newsletter today. If you missed the mail click here to view. Let us know if you'd like to be added to the mail list.
Our next release is out. Click here to go the support pages to see the details.
"Today Jamie Billingham joins the Fulcrum team as Social Media Manager. Dave MacLeod Director of Sales commented: "Jamie is an amazing community consultant who has been working with us for a few months as both a user and tester of Thoughtstream. She provides us with consistent, valuable feedback and has also initiated and animated our Twitter feed. As of today we're giving her an official place on the team and look forward to her continuing to connect us to the world of users and potential users of Thoughtstream."
Today Dave MacLeod joins Fulcrum as an employee and continues his responsibility for Sales and Marketing. Jim Firstbrook, CEO, commented: "It's fantastic to have Dave on board with us. He has been doing a stellar job using Thoughtstream with many different groups and has already contributed to our sales success."
Thoughtstream 1.2 has some major changes to our product including:
- New Express application to dramatically simplify participant input
- Changes to our pricing model to better align with our value proposition
- Many small feature changes based on customer feedback
- Bug fixes - yup there are bugs and we fix when we hear about them
Click here to see the release notes
Thoughtstream 1.1 adds some cool features we heard from our customers and fixes some bugs. Click here to see the release notes
We're excited to announce the release of version 1.0 of Thoughtstream. 1.0 marks the end of the beta testing period and first full commercial release. In addition to numerous enhancements and fixes, 1.0 offers several significant changes so we invite you to read the full release notes to see what's new
0.9.2 adds a new feature: reporting. It also includes simplification of choose view and many other smaller feature adjustments and fixes.
Complete release notes can be found on our support site.
0.9.1 is a "quick" release to address some urgent bugs and some "easy" features based on initial feedback from our workshops. Release notes
Our first public release of software Thoughtstream 0.9.0 is ready for beta testing. We are excited to finally be able to put Thoughtstream into our user's hands after months of demo's and presentations.
In response to strong demand from our growing consultant network, we'll be holding two Thoughtstream workshops - April 9th in Vancouver, BC and April 16th in Rossland, BC. These workshops will provide an opportunity for interested consultants and facilitators to learn more about the principles that have emerged from recent research into collective intelligence; the process we've designed to implement those principles; and, how Thoughtstream software works. We'll provide hands-on learning through brief presentations, engaging dialogue and a series of simulations, using both the process and software. We think it will be a great opportunity to learn about, and contribute to, the ongoing development of Thoughtstream.
Contact us for more information on these and future workshops, or to learn about how you can integrate Thoughtstream into your consulting practice.
Fulcrum Management Solutions today announced the appointment of Amos Michelson as Fulcrum's Chairman of the Board. Mr Michelson is the former CEO of Creo Products and current chairman of three BC-based high-tech startups. Fulcrum is the organizational improvement firm that offers Thoughtstream, a proprietary collaboration process, delivered through Organizational Development services and extended through an innovative Web 2.0 solution.
Click to read full press release.
Thoughtstream software version 0.6 has been released and is ready for demonstration so contact us to arrange to see what's new.
We've changed our domain name to thotstr.com. The new domain is easier to type and easier to remember. The old domain name (fulcrumsolutions.ca) will continue to work - both web site and email addresses.
The first major milestone for any “1.0” software development is when the software is demo-ready. Demo’s allow the software designers to get critical feature feedback before they have committed a lot of time and effort to the implementation. Reaching the “demo milestone” means all of the technology to be used by the final product has been integrated - addressing one of the greatest risks for any new piece of software. Finally, demo-ready software allows us to look for early adopter customers interested to be involved with beta or who are prepared to pre-purchase in return for overall reduced pricing.
We had the formative ideas for Thoughtstream™ early in the fall of 2008. We worked on developing the ideas and business model through the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009. In the spring we committed - incorporating under Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd. Work began on development of the Thoughtstream software around this time.