Challenges are a great way to ask for ideas to help solve a business problem or to encourage innovation around a specific topic.
In this post we look at how to frame your challenges in order to get the best responses from your audience. Frame your idea challenges well and you’ll get quality responses back. Here are our tips for making sure you get great, relevant ideas in response to your challenge:
Step 1. Set the context
Explain exactly what the challenge is and what you are looking for in response. Why are you looking for ideas? Give your audience the background information they need but don’t overload them with unnecessary details.
Step 2. Explain what information you need
How would you like the idea presented to you? What information are you asking for? Let them know how much detail you need. It’s best to ask for a short pitch outlining associated costs, time and resources needed.
Step 3. Set a deadline
Set a deadline if necessary and relevant to the challenge. Establish these to fit in with organisational business planning cycles.
Step 4. Have clear criteria
What criteria do ideas need to meet? Do they need to use certain software or be relevant to a particular department for example. Having defined criteria will also help you evaluate ideas later on and give you a basis by which to filter ideas and decide which to take forward.
Step 5. What will happen to the ideas?
Be clear about what will happen to the best ideas. Will they be turned into business cases, proposed to the board, submitted to public vote? Will there be any reward and recognition linked to the challenge, such as a prize for the best idea?
Step 6. Share the challenge!
Share the challenge wisely and make sure the right people see the challenge. If it is a company-wide challenge then make sure all employees regardless of department, level and hierarchy are invited to respond.
If you’ve framed your challenge well you can expect to see great ideas come flooding in!