What if we told you the best business ideas reside in your employees’ minds? Many corporate innovation initiatives are embracing idea crowdsourcing, launching initiatives that come from employee ideas.
They know the business, its products and services, and constantly deal with them. A very good by-product of this process, is a myriad of untapped ideas coming and going. The downside is – no one knows about those ideas, and they stay “stored” in your employees’ minds, without the chance to develop.
Most companies and organizations tend to use suggestion boxes, as part of their process improvement method. This is especially true for global corporations and Enterprise-grade businesses, with tens of thousands of employees and more. Smaller startup companies are using digital disruption to make inroads in every new market, leaving larger corporations reeling. Instead of leaving their innovation solely to their R&D investments, enterprises can take advantage of their employees as an excellent way to tap a resource which can provide an alternative source of innovation. The suggestion boxes are there in order to allow every employee to speak their minds.
The main problem is – the traditional employee suggestion box adoption-rate, is roughly 10%. Not very successful or effective when it comes to the ever-changing business world.
An additional problem with this method is that the process is driven to work in one direction: An employee has an idea, which he passes along to his manager, who either approves or rejects it. . This is like a unidirectional pipe, with one start point and one finish point. There’s no collaboration between employees around their own or around other people’s ideas, which leads to a low engagement rate. This means that there’s no real development of core ideas, ideas which could potentially be developed to evolve into something related and with greater chances of success, by using shared ideation and social collaboration.
Also, for the backend management point of view – the process we described above is hard to handle: it’s hard to consolidate similar ideas, analyze KPIs, involve external/internal experts in the process, and above all, it’s hard to track the implementation process and the idea’s ROI analysis.
So, is it time to rethink this whole thing? Maybe it’s time to re-shape existing methods.
Turn Ideas into Results
If your employees could just contribute a stream of ideas on a regular basis, without having to use a physical suggestion box – you would have the perfect solution for the problem described above.
Just imagine your employees sitting at their cubicles, typing their ideas and sending them to a “business social network”. This network then funnels all the ideas submissions, analyzing them and using innovative crowdsourcing tools to identify the best ones.
The ideas could be anything from improving upon an existing product or service or starting a performance excellence campaign in order to improve internal processes to coming up with new idea for a disruptive product or technology or simply sharpening your incremental innovation, and the list goes on and on.
This relatively new form of operation is called “idea management”, which in turn can lead to innovative new business approaches (another name for it is “innovation management”). Instead of using the old, traditional suggestion box – which barely amounts to 5 ideas per employee per year – you can now encourage your employees to partake in the process, using a much more flexible, engaging, and powerful digital platform.
Without Innovation there is No Progress
Innovation is what’s driving growth in every business, company and organization. A Gartner Research report stated in 2016 that ” Growth and innovation are consistently among the priorities of most organizations, and their importance is growing.” Indeed.
- Improving existing services, products and processes.
- Creating new, sustainable business models.
- Improving customer experience.
- Saving time and money for the organization.
Employees are usually motivated to submit ideas that directly impact their own work. After all, if you’re an expert at what you do (or at least feel passionate about it), odds are your ideas will be better in comparison to ideas by other employees, who deal with other fields of expertise.
But why use ideas coming from the general workforce in the first place? Can’t one expert come up with the best solutions every time?
Collective Intelligence – Faster and More Accurate
Wikipedia is the world’s biggest online encyclopedia, edited and maintained through crowdsourced contributions from many people in different countries. How accurate can this project be, when almost anyone can edit it? In 2005, Nature Magazine tested and compared Wikipedia’s and Encyclopedia Britannica’s scientific pages, and found Wikipedia’s pages to be quite accurate.
In that sense, idea management can be used not only to suggest improvements to current problems, but can take the process one step further – when you digitize the process, you can also use idea management systems to duplicate best practice ideas and projects (also known as the Kaizen methodology), to be implemented in other divisions across the company.
This phenomenon – known as “collective intelligence” – can be the source of brilliant ideas at your own work place, too. Each time an employee’s idea is selected and thus implemented, their learning curve also improves – and thus their future ideas have a better chance to be picked up again.
How does a group of employees affect this process? Providing a software platform that is
easy to use by your employees can increase user participation. Placing emphasis on audience engagement is necessary to create an environment for collaboration.
Unleash your Corporate Innovation Potential
A digital idea management platform can utilize your employees’ best ideas, and help improve your organization, products and services, customer experience and much more. An efficient, effective, and engaging way of facilitating the traditional needs of a brainstorming initiative, using a 21st century platform.
|Qmarkets is a leading provider of Idea & Innovation Management platforms, for large-scale companies and organizations. Request your demo now >>> www.qmarkets.net|