Brightidea is a company built on the principles of making innovation practical. It's not surprising, then, that we use our own software as a system of record for internal communications on everything from process improvements to customer enhancement requests via our public IdeaSpace. Targeted campaigns are also common, from the Marketing Department seeking ideas for our innovation newsletter to our most recent annual internal campaign called Limitless, inspired by the feature film, looking for the latest breakthrough ideas for Brightidea technology.
We recently chatted with Jason Hardy-Smith, Vice President of Product Management at Brightidea, about spearheading Limitless. The reason for the annual campaign, "we weren't sure we had the right ideas and we thought that if we opened it up to the company we'd get a greater variety of ideas from different perspectives." The entire process of tapping the wealth of knowledge and expertise spread across the organization is proving to have a powerful impact on the Product team's work and vision for the future. "I think it's quite enlightening. The different perspectives that people bring to the table are what is going to make our solution really unique. I'm really proud of it. I'm really proud that across the country everybody has taken the time to participate."
And people did participate. In the first few days 80% of the company logged-in to the campaign, and there has since been 100% login rate. The quality of participation and the collaboration post-submission has been truly impressive. "People aren't just sitting there for 10 minutes and thinking about an idea, they're actually hours and days putting together complex diagrams, long explanations and doing research on technologies to bring things to be really well thought out and polished," says Jason.
Limitless is also representative of the Brightidea philosophy and "this company belongs to everybody that works in it," said Jason, meaning that employees are encouraged to be active contributors in deciding what the roadmap for the company should be. He also added, "in running a company in that way I think you get more buy-in and collaboration and you have happier employees, it's just generally a better place to work."
When asked what it was like using Brightidea's own software, Jason responded that it's "humbling in a way because you think you know everything about your product and you think you know what's best for it all the time, but when you're actually using your product in a real-life scenario you realize that you're missing something and you come up with things that you never would have imagined would be in the product."
Overall, as a VP of Product, sourcing ideas and developing concepts that truly are unique and make a difference is paying off as Jason signs off saying, "I don't think there's another software that meet the product manager's needs as much as this does."
You can follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonHardySmith