The operative word of “innovation management” isn’t actually “innovation”. It’s “management”. Our experience has told us that there’s no short supply of ideas. The last thing most companies need is idea generation software. They already benefit from a wellspring of ideas within their own walls. They just need to learn not only how to access those ideas, but how to manage them as well. Companies may not know where to begin when managing new ideas, so we’ve come up with three key questions every business should ask when managing new ideas:
What keeps people talking? While popular ideas may not be the easiest ones the implement, it’s worth keeping in mind what ideas are getting the most attention, simply because those may be the easiest ones to find willing volunteers for. One of the struggles with new ideas is the time it takes to get employees on board with them, either in administrating the idea or adopting it on a day to day basis. If you have an idea that’s already got your team motivated and excited, it might be half the battle once you’ve decided to approve the idea and make it happen!
What has the strongest foundations? Part of our idea management solution comes with several features to help you test the strength of ideas, including review boards. An idea isn’t much of a benefit to your company if it can’t be implemented and the point of gathering employees, clients, stakeholders, and others together into one space is to benefit from their collective experience. If you set your team up with groups, review boards, and other functions, you can guarrantee there will be a strong vetting process for your ideas and they won’t just fall apart post-implementation. The ones with the best foundations will make it through the management process.
What has the greatest capacity for change? Most leaders understands that business environments change, and they can and have changed rapidly over just a small span of a year. Ideas that are flexible or allow for change are going to be the ones you want to consider investing in, because one of the biggest obstacles toward innovation is stubborn bureaucracy. The last thing you want to do when approving ideas is improve even further layers of red tape to prevent your business from changing as your clients or environments do. Emphasise the importance of flexibility to your employees when posing challenges for new ideas and put it through your own field test for flexibility and you might find that the ideas that you approve not only have the capacity to improve your business, but change over time as your business does.
Of course, our best advice to companies wishing to really invest in managing the best ideas for their business is to provide a really accessible place for all their employees via an idea management system. The best type of system will not only incorporate the ability for your employees to submit all of their ideas, but also give you the tools to analyse and manage those ideas effectively. It’s been our experience that finding ideas is only half of the battle. Management is just as important as innovation.