Joey Reiman is an adjunct professor who teaches “Ideation” each fall semester. Joey brings his experience as the CEO of BrightHouse, the world’s first ideation corporation, to the classroom. Brighthouse is located in Atlanta, Georgia and works with companies to promote purposeful excellence in business. For each company that comes to them, BrightHouse conducts a process that leads to the organization’s master idea, the driving force that allows it to add true value. This involves looking back into the company’s history, extracting its ethos, and devising a plan for the future in which it can be, not just a leader in the world, but rather a leader for the world.
Reiman started out as an ad man, but realized that his true purpose was to be an idea man, and help others find their calling as well. Creating ideas is wonderful, but he has found a way to make those ideas worth something of greater moral, spiritual, and monetary value. He has graced Emory with his presence in the classroom and is a fantastic professor. His passion and energy creates an atmosphere in which it is impossible not to pay attention. All of his students have the opportunity to do what BrightHouse does: conduct a Master Idea journey. Each team chooses a company, reviews historical documents, engages in discussions with its employees, discovers its ethos, acquires insight from luminaries, and uncovers a master idea that will reinvent the company and allow it to move purposefully forward in an ever-changing, ever-competitive business environment. The final project brings together all of the work done throughout the semester and includes a film that each group creates to provide a visual embodiment describing where the company should go in the future.
Apart from the group undertaking, class activities have encouraged students to think outside the box, from meditating and clearing out all of the “rooms” in ones head in order to free each of the senses, to thinking of ways to get a ball out of a lead pipe with minimal supplies. On the first day of class Reiman taught us that ideas lead to action, which lead to habit, which build character, which eventually become destiny. He has also dispensed wisdom for life such as “courage is the first thing needed to take the next step” and “anger towards someone is allowing them to live rent free in your head.” One of the many valuable resources he provides is his book, Thinking for a Living, in which he gives a framework for thinking about thinking. He reviews his own career, telling stories that shaped him and explaining how he got to where he is today. Through his own personal stories and the stories of those who have changed the world with their radical ideas, from Steve Jobs to Martin Luther King Jr., he brings home the point that knowledge is power and it must be shared. Joey Reiman is someone who will have ‘kleos,’ which, as he has taught us, is remembrance in one’s own time.
Jessica Hershatter, Emory College ‘11