Birds of a Feather 2014 at Quicken in Detroit - Presentation Highlights from Innovation Leaders

Posted by Kate Pietrelli at 9:20 AM, June 19, 2014


Recently, we held our 7th annual Birds of a Feather event in Detroit to engage innovation leaders with the latest practices, principals, challenges and opportunities within our industry. Our gracious hosts at Quicken Loans provided an inside look at how the city of Detroit is currently evolving as we toured and congregated in several beautiful, modern buildings throughout the town.

We kicked off this year's event with evening tours of innovative companies in the Detroit metro area, including Shinola watch and bicycle manufacturing facilities, and DIME (Detroit Institute of Music Education) where BOF attendees were treated to live music performances by students. View photos of each event here.

The next day focused on presentations and insights from industry leaders including Quicken Loans, Nielsen, VSP Global, Cabot Corporation, Bizdom, Fathead and Brightidea. Additionally, we held a segment on "BOF Shared Key Learnings" with 5-minute presentations on lessons learned in managing innovation from Nielsen, SAP, Kaiser Permanente, VSP Global, Cisco, Farm Credit Services of America, ACT, Inc., Panasonic, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. and The Strategy Group. You can see what each of the presenters had to say in the slides here.

All 2014 Birds of a Feather presentations have been added to our community page on Facebook and the following are some of the highlights from our wonderful presenters this year:

Dual presentations from Quicken kicked off the summit on Tuesday morning. CEO Bill Emerson shared deep insights on their innovation strategy and approach, posing the question: "How do you create that fire in the belly?" Through setting expectations, encouraging and recognizing people, Quicken ignites ideas and a culture of innovation within their organization.

Innovation Team Leader Bill Mirza presented "Cheese Factory: The Inches We Need Are Everywhere Around Us." Bill leads Quicken Loan’s Bullet Time initiative and is obsessed with the search to what he calls "Finding a Better Way." In his presentation, he shared more about their innovation program operations, including how their team of 6 members facilitates strong communication and organizational skills to execute and implement ideas. Learn more here.

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Nielsen Director of Planning and Governance Ann Marie Dumais presented "Create. Sustain. Accelerate. How to create a sustainable innovation culture through organization efficiency." As a 20-year veteran across various Nielsen owned and acquired companies, Ann Marie leads the development of a global company-wide innovation portal and a technology learning center. In this presentation, Ann Marie described how they've developed a mature innovation program and culture by applying six sigma around the ideation phase. View the full presentation here.

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Jeff Ferreira–Pro, Idea Curator for The SHOP, shared insights on the innovation pipeline at VSP Global.
VSP's Idea Bank Launched last summer with one question: What can VSP Global do to become more of a leader in the growing retail market for eyewear? Since then, Idea Bank has shifted focus to opportunity areas such as the billion-dollar wearable technology market and is currently exploring disruptive ideas and innovation around Google Glass products. Learn more here.

Vspglobal

Cabot Corporation is a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company. Head of Innovation John Jaddou joined BOF to present on "Focused Innovation: Connecting people and ideas to drive results." John discussed the importance of solving the right problems by engaging customers the right way and communicating effectively. Additionally, he shared how physical ideation sessions coupled with focused virtual WebStorms are essential to achieving this. View the presentation here.

Cabot

Lee Burnstein of Bizdom gave the presentation "Innovate, Incubate, Accelerate" to share how large companies can play a critical role in the startup community by providing resources and programs that encourage overall growth in the larger company's ecosystem. More than capital investment, accelerators can provide structured curriculum to help increase the speed of innovation and value of startups. Learn more about the acceleration process here.

Bizdom

Fathead provides life-sized, precision-cut vinyl wall graphics out of Detroit, and Lynda McFarlan joined us at BOF to give us an inside look at how they help organizations create spaces that truly inspire. For Fathead, the goals are to transform a space, evoke an emotion and tell a great story through imagery and use of space. To see more of how Fathead brings culture and philosophy to life, watch the videos featured in Lynda's presentation.

Fathead

Stay tuned for additional videos and highlights from the 2014 Birds of a Feather event!

Seven Things to Look for in a Sponsor - of your Next Innovation Challenge

Posted by Anthony Madama at 10:57 AM, March 11, 2014


For Corporate Innovation teams that offer innovation crowdsourcing services to other areas of the business, finding the right Challenge Sponsors can make or break the success of your program.

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While support from the C-suite can be great to get you started, you can not rely on them for the steady stream of challenge topics that are the life blood of the 'shared service' model.

Eventually you will need to venture out into the organization, and identify business leaders who have real —and pressing— business needs that you can help to solve via crowdsourcing.

Often this is unfamiliar territory for the Innovation Program Manager. It requires internal networking and 'selling' the benefits of the service. It is also a significant departure from the work they have been doing to date (eg. organizing the team, defining the process and project managing the deployment of the Brightidea platform).

There are many different candidates to sponsor challenges, in different departments, with widely varying needs, and it's hard to know where to start.

So we've created this handy list of things to keep in mind as you are looking for sponsors of your next innovation challenge.

Seven Things to Look for in a Sponsor of Your Next Innovation Challenge:

1. Expressed Interest or Curiosity in your Program and Tools. Executives who are already interested in what you are doing, are the easiest to get engaged. Keep your eyes and ears open for business leaders who think what you are doing is cool, and start with them first.

2. Already Engaged in Innovation at the Company. Executives that participate on an Innovation Council or Innovation Steering Committee are strong candidates as well. They will likely be supporting your program at some level and will give you early opportunities to work with the teams or divisions that they lead. Listen closely and allow them to guide you to where you can have the largest impact in the areas they are responsible for.

3. Already Have a Key Challenge they Need to Solve. Maybe it's an aggressive growth target a few years out, or a division that needs to reduce costs. Maybe there is a new trend they want to jump on in a big way or a technical problem that needs to be solved. An executive with a 'burning platform' that needs to get something done, can benefit from fresh thinking and directly engaging their teams to solve the problem.

4. Have Access to Resources to Execute Ideas. Business unit leaders who have existing discreationary budgets for doing new things, be it:R&D, prototyping, custom work, etc. make great sugar daddy's for your innovation program. These executives are used to placing bets on things that may or may not pan out. They often have existing pools of money and resources that are not pre-allocated to mission critical activities and therefore have the latitude to experiment with new things. By teaming with such well-heeled executives, you will not have to waste your time finding additional budget to execute the opportunities you hand-off to them.

5. Operating in an Area with Rapidly evolving Products and Services. Lets face it, at any given point in time, some markets are moving faster than others. If your company made mobile phones and land-line phones, the demand for innovation will probably be greater in the mobile division. Go to where the action is. Look for areas where technology is driving rapid product evolution or where changes in policies or regulations are disrupting how business is being done. Divisions with lots of engineers doing technical design work make great targets. 

6. Bigger is better. The benefits of crowdsourcing increase with scale. Seek out sponsors that lead large teams, or whose challenge topic will be broadly applicable to employees in other business units.  

7. Social Media or Technology Saavy. Does your target sponsor have a blog? Are they active on twitter? Executives that embrace social media often have a 'prepared mind' for crowdsourcing innovation. They are comfortable communicating to large audiences via digital media and understand the untapped power and potential of their network.

*    *    *

The list above describes traits you can use to help identify the strong candidates to sponsor innovation challenges. If you have other tips, I'd love to hear them! Please share them in the comments section below.

If you wish to discuss this topic in more detail, feel free to contact us so we can have one of our innovation consultants reach out to you to discuss further!

Brightidea is the leading provider of collaborative innovation software for companies all over the world. Brightidea believes every company’s innovation process is unique with specific needs changing over time in different ways. The Brightidea platform is designed to be the most flexible and self-configurable available to effectively support customers no matter where they are on their innovation journey. Based in San Francisco, Brightidea has over a decade of experience and has worked with nearly 500 leading corporate innovators, including Adobe, Bayer, Bosch, Chevron, Cisco, General Electric, Humana, SAP, Sony and many others.

Interview with Motorola Solutions Director of Innovation Development

Posted by Kate Pietrelli at 10:27 AM, March 07, 2014



Heidi_Hattendorf

In a recent interview with Chicago Tribune's innovation and entrepreneurship blog, Blue Sky, Motorola Solutions Director of Innovation Development Heidi Hattendorf discusses the framework and responsibilities of its innovation team that ultimately drive the success of their program.

The group consists of innovators and "innovation champions" operating within an incubator environment for crowdsourcing new ideas across multiple business units within the organization. To recruit innovation champions into the program, Heidi's team looks for natural, entrepreneurial leaders within the organization. It's a much sought-after position that also comes with the responsibility for delivering on KPIs within their business unit. In this model, the champion stands behind their idea and brings it to the next level.

Leveraging our Brightidea platform, Motorola Solutions' innovation team works closely with sponsors to design challenges for their business units, and then crowdsources ideas across a global team within Idea Space, delivers actionable opportunities, and ultimately builds a culture centered around collaborative innovation. Heidi's model for structuring the innovation team and integrating the Brightidea platform within the organization has had a substantial impact on the culture as well as measurable outcomes for the business units. For example, one of the outcomes from the program was the development of a head mounted computer, the HC1, which allows a field worker to be hands-free and more productive.

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As they have for the past two years, Heidi's team will continue to operate its highly successful innovations program leveraging both people and platform technology, building on a culture of innovation and delivering on better, new technologies in the data communications and telecommunications field.

Read the original Chicago Tribune article.

There's a Better Way to Manage WebStorm Requests

Posted by Steve Bell at 10:44 AM, February 05, 2014


When the word gets out how effective your ISS team is at driving innovation results across your organization, the business units will start lining up for your services. While popularity is a good problem to have, keeping track of all those innovation challenge requests can get unwieldy fast without the right tools. Our WebStorm Request Management feature helps you streamline the process of handling submissions, tracking and managing WebStorm requests so you stay on top of things and let nothing slip through the cracks.

Here’s how it works:

A new WebStorm Request Widget streamlines the request process. An administrator can easily place the widget on any WebStorm or Enterprise pages without technical assistance.

Request_WebStorm

After clicking on the “Request a WebStorm” button, the requester is directed to a new WebStorm Request form that collects all the pertinent information needed to create and schedule a new WebStorm – things like the topic, dates, sponsor, and target audience.

WebStorm-Request-Form

All actions are automatically captured and communicated through notifications and email.

A new management page makes it easy for system administrators to monitor, review and respond to WebStorm requests. From this interface, administrators can also create the new WebStorm.

WebStorm-Request-Management

After a new WebStorm is created from the WebStorm request, the requester automatically receives an email message with a URL to navigate to their new WebStorm.

We have received extremely positive feedback since rolling out the new WebStorm Request feature. If you have not enabled this beta feature yet for your program, we encourage you to do so and enjoy its benefits!

The Top 5 Most Important Articles On Innovation in the Past Year

Posted by Jesse Leone at 9:00 AM, January 29, 2014


With the passing of another year, I’m reminded of British novelist Leslie Hartley who once said, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Looking forward to new beginnings in 2014, I believe it’s important to reflect on our forthcoming journey and what the future has in store.

Having worked with more than 100 innovation programs around the world, I’ve developed a habit of tracking trends that shape the global innovation landscape. Because this year was filled with such amazing content, I’d like to share what I consider to be the top five most important articles on innovation in the past year.

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#5 On Innovation and Disruption
“The common perception that disruptive innovations are occurring more frequently is based on something real.”

Jason Pontin, editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, riffs on the increasing pace of disruptive innovation throughout recent history, driving toward a list of the top 50 most disruptive companies according to the very reputable folks at MIT.

#4 How Corruption Is Strangling US Innovation
This presentation from Harvard Business Review masterfully summarizes the challenges faced when corporatism and politics cross paths. The same system that has fueled the engine of human development for centuries is quickly becoming the largest inhibitor of innovation in the United States.

#3 What’s the Roadmap for Innovation in China 
This article from Fast Company reflects on the state of innovation in China. Though the country has struggled to keep up with the pace of US and European innovation, China’s rich history of invention and its rapidly modernizing economy are positioning Chinese companies to become world leaders in innovation over the next century.

Taking-the-measure-of-your-innovation-220x207

#2 Taking the Measure of Your Innovation Performance
Several authors at Bain and Company illustrate what it takes to drive successful innovation inside your company. Through some really compelling research and examples, this article was a must read for anyone breaking into the innovation space in 2013.

#1 How To Really Measure a Company's Innovation Prowess
Despite strong examples like Google and Apple, those of us who study innovation understand that most companies are still coming to terms with their utter lack of innovation prowess. Scott Anthony, managing partner of the innovation consulting firm Innosight, writes a very insightful article noting some breakthrough methods for measuring innovation within your company. This article is truly geared for the innovation Jedis out there.

Jesse Leone is an Innovation Consultant in Brightidea’s Professional Services Team. His work includes management consulting with some of the largest innovation programs around the world, including General Electric, Motorola, Sony, and SAP. In his personal life, Jesse enjoys pursuing the creation of art, music, and technology.

Building an Innovation Management Office with Brightidea - Webinar, January 23

Posted by Kate Pietrelli at 11:57 AM, January 22, 2014


A corporate Innovation Management Office (IMO) is responsible for setting up a formal Innovation-as-a-Shared Service (ISS) internally within their organization. We've brought together a panel of innovation management experts to share stories and insights during a live webinar session on how global leaders like LAN Airlines, CPMC, ELEMENTIA, and SAG have built their IMO. Join us to learn best practices on developing your own IMO. Additionally, all webinar attendees will receive a FREE IMO Toolkit to assist you in putting together your own innovation strategy.

Watch a recording of the webinar on the Brightidea Vimeo channel.

Brightidea_Webinar_IMO

Our panel of innovation management experts includes Transforme USA Founder and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez Professor of the Innovation Master´s Degree Program Guillermo A. Beuchat,Transforme USA Innovation Expert Timothy J. Rowe, and Brightidea Director Paul Tran.

In this webinar you will learn how to: 

  • Structure an Innovation Process
  • Focus on Measureable Outcomes
  • Engage and Sustain User Participation Over Time
  • Define Your Innovation Key Metrics

Watch a recording of the webinar on "How to Build an IMO: Innovation Management Office Using Brightidea".

Erasing the “Fuzzy” from The Front End of Innovation - Upcoming Webcast, December 4

Posted by Kate Pietrelli at 2:42 PM, November 25, 2013


Many people believe that innovation is a form of art, and solely occurs in creativity sessions among post-it notes, squishy toys, and beanbag chairs. While this may be true in the ideation process, innovation successes are in fact driven by structure, metrics and methodology. An effective innovation program combines the art and the science, which can sometimes make understanding the front end of the process.....a little fuzzy.

Planview_logoJoin us Wednesday, December 4 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST for a lively discussion with Carrie Nauyalis, New Product Development Solution Evangelist of Planview, and Kristen Jordan Fotter, Senior Innovation Consultant of Brightidea, to learn how you can take your innovation program to the next level by leveraging best practices from leading global companies that have successfully balanced art and science when it comes to innovation.


Kristen Jordon FotterSign up for this exclusive webinar on Erasing the “Fuzzy” from The Front End of Innovation today.

 

Announcing the Brightidea "Executive Roundtable" Webinar Series and First Webinar

Posted by Kate Pietrelli at 9:32 AM, September 16, 2013


We at Brightidea are always looking to provide our customers and partners with a wealth of information on innovation management best practices as well as connecting innovation experts to learn from one another in the field. In our new "Executive Roundtable" Webinar Series, we will be bringing together proven innovation leaders to discuss a variety of topics pertaining to innovation management.

For our first webinar in this series, please join Forrester Research, Humana, and Brightidea on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 1:00-2:00 PM ET for our session on, "Getting Started with Innovation as a Shared Service" where you'll learn about best practices for structuring a team and innovation program.

Featuring:

Forrester-logo-new

Humana-logo-new

Harvard Business School recently released a study showing that up to 90% of innovations fail, but not all innovation initiatives should be doomed to die on the vine. With the right structure, processes and technology, innovation can become a repeatable, scalable process that nets more success than failure. Innovation as a Shared Service (ISS) isn’t just some new fluffy buzzword; it’s an emerging practice that is proven to scale and drive measurable results.

Leading Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Chip Gliedman will discuss why making a true commitment to innovation with resources and budget is absolutely critical for success. Sabrina Prouty, Insights Strategic Consultant with Humana, will share how their team achieves success with a shared services approach to innovation.

Speakers-blog

Learn from leading industry experts on the following topics:
  • What causes innovation programs to fail?
  • What is Innovation as a Shared Service, and how it leads to successful outcomes?
  • What are the best practices for structuring a team and innovation program?

Space is limited so we encourage you to sign up now! "Getting Started with Innovation as a Shared Service."

9 Tips From the Trenches: Innovation Leaders Speak

Posted by Sandra Ponce de Leon at 1:36 PM, July 11, 2013


Our recent Birds of a Feather event in Chicago did not disappoint. Now in its 6th year, drawing innovation leaders from around the globe, this year’s event took place at WMS Gaming’s facilities just outside of Chicago – a modern and technologically innovative building in its own right.

BOF attendees flocked together the evening before the event to network, partake in casino games, and compete passionately for the ultimate prize of the night – a new Brightidea platform feature to be coded and delivered to the winning party just 24 hours after the announcement. Read more about the new feature developed by Brightidea.

The next day was filled with juicy insights from WMS Gaming, Autoliv, ACT Inc., Quicken Loans, and Humana. Here's 9 tips our innovation practitioners shared to ensure a successful innovation journey:

#1 Take an incremental approach to introducing new technology
Larry Pacey, Head of Global Product Strategy for WMS Gaming, spoke about the company’s unique corporate culture – a culture where innovation is embedded into its DNA. Over the course of its long history, WMS Gaming has brought many significant innovations in casino and social gaming to life for millions of enthusiasts.

However, having a long-term vision and the desire to commercialize it is not enough. Consumers need to be ready for innovative products, and sometimes, it takes a building block approach to get there. For example, in 2003, WMS was the first company to put a video overlay into their slot machines appearing in front of the original mechanical reels. This created a visual familiarity that consumers were used to seeing, while also still advancing the consumer experience.

Keepinitcheesy #2 Keep it fun and cheesy
Both literally and figuratively, Quicken Loans’ irreverent and fun culture shines through in the way they approach innovation. Kathy Ternes and Drew Butler’s presentation showed us how they infuse fun into everything they do. Starting with the name of their innovation platform, The Cheese Factory, the program takes its brand inspiration from a cartoon mousetrap and even has its own mascot, Simon the Mouse. Recently, Quicken re-launched The Cheese Factory with a tongue-in-cheek video that shows employees that no idea is too small and that anyone with an idea can participate the company's innovation initiatives.

#3 Dedicate time to innovation

"We think that in the brain economy, innovation and creativity are key in developing ideas and creating jobs and wealth…" Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman

Quicken Loans maximizes its “brain economy” by dedicating 4 hours every Monday to innovation. While this time doesn’t reflect full 100% participation, these 4 weekly hours alone have created new revenue and cost savings opportunities because it asserts a mandate across the team to focus on innovation.

#4 Make innovation culture part of the program strategy
Presenters Laura Frisby and Kari Stillman at ACT, Inc. shared the importance of making a cultural shift to an innovation mindset which fosters creativity and new ideas. This starts with a strategy that builds a bridge for team members – taking them from their legacy thinking to a new perspective that is built on sharing, collaboration and ideas. ACT started their innovation culture review by taking an innovation maturity survey by Braden Kelley. This helped them set a benchmark and understand exactly where they were in their innovation program’s maturity scale. From this point, they were able to implement new challenges that helped evolve and accelerate their innovation initiatives.

#5 Communication and feedback is key to success
ACT created the Bloom Out Loud Award, presented in an awards ceremony four times throughout the year to showcase the best new ideas, provide transparency into the ideation process, accelerate rapid prototyping and create a platform to share concepts with the entire ACT staff. Transparency and a physical forum where new ideas are recognized and rewarded is key to supporting a culture of innovation and creating a foundation for more collaboration.

#6 Recognize and reward to keep participants engaged
WMS Gaming ensures that rewards are an integral part of the process. The company created a traveling trophy “light bulb” that resides for one quarter with the team that received the most points for ideas submitted. Additionally, each quarter, the team with the most implemented ideas gets a group lunch where executives and challenge leaders have a chance to mingle and discuss the ideas in person with the group.

Across many different organizations, gift cards, a certificate and recognition by peers are more than enough to keep employees motivated and participating.

#7 Define roles and responsibilities from the beginning
For WMS Gaming, governance is critical to ensuring that ideas move effectively through the pipeline. It’s important to create a process upfront and communicate expectations. Specific timing related to idea response, the types of ideas that will be accepted and agreeing to approvals are all set within their innovation platform to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Brightidea’s rules engine ensures compliance with WMS' commitment to acknowledge all idea submissions within one day as well as the obligation to make a decision on new ideas within 72 hours.

Sabrina #8 Approach innovation as a shared service
Sabrina Prouty, Insights Integration Strategic Consultant at Humana, shared how her innovation team is structured much like a consulting organization that connects business units and ensures innovation initiatives are aligned with high-level corporate strategies and priorities.

The innovation team consults with various business groups, spending a significant amount of time planning and securing key resources from the teams. A Statement of Work (SOW) is created for every idea challenge that details out the scope, “problem” statement, agreed-upon criteria for submissions, projected impact to organization, and a timeline to launch (usually 8-10 weeks). All involved parties, such as the project lead and the champion, must sign off on the SOW prior to the challenge being adopted.

In the end, the team delivers a Results and Recommendations packet for every challenge that includes the identification of potential cost savings, trends and insights, a summary of groups that participated, and a cost / benefit analysis that identifies how many years it will take to achieve a return on the idea.

#9 Put your marketing hat on
Greg Thompson from Autoliv shared that each challenge needs to be treated as a unique project, and marketed in a similar fashion to a typical new product go-to-market strategy. From developing a catchy brand and name to staying in touch with participants – the challenge needs to be fun and resonate with the audience. Engagement can be achieved through communications channels, such as blogs and newsletters managed on the Brightidea platform that keep the challenge top-of-mind with audiences to encourage participation. Greg also recommends ensuring challenges are based on a real need. Making a challenge meaningful, especially as it contributes to the long-term strategic health of the company, which will infuse that innovative and collaborative spirit into your teams for the long haul.

For more Birds of a Feather insights, stay tuned to the blog! We’ll be sharing more great content, including videos from this year’s event.

FunBOF2013


The Road to Innovation Results: WMS Gaming chats with Brightidea

Posted by Sandra Ponce de Leon at 8:38 AM, May 29, 2013


Dave_paul_smilesOur Director of Business Development, Paul Tran recently sat down with David Detlefsen of WMS Gaming, a company with a rich history of innovation in digital gaming entertainment for the casino industry. WMS started their innovation program 5 years ago, during a time when they were experiencing strong revenue and employee growth. WMS wanted to ensure that it preserved its special corporate culture through this period and specifically maintain itself as a company of ideas.

For WMS having a platform that could support its vision…for every employee to share and to contribute to its innovative company voice was extremely important. It wanted to stimulate internal employee collaboration to help its managers solve real business problems and increase invention disclosures with IP patents groups, while keeping a focus on its core culture.

Using Brightidea's technology platform, the program has been hugely successful since its inception in 2007, resulting in 64 patents being filed and the creation of 110 continuous improvement ideas that include efficiency improvements, cost savings, waste reduction, and safety advances. Deploying Brightidea's Idea management platform onto the manufacturing shop floor means WMS can harness its employees' creativity and empower them to take steps to improve their work life, while also creating cost savings for the company.

The program has evolved and continues to improve over time through valuable learnings gathered through its history, here's just a few of the many nuggets David shared with us.

  1. Do not start with an open suggestion box, keep challenges focused and aligned with your corporate strategy. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, an open suggestion box will actually cause more pain by opening up a firehouse of hundreds if not thousands of unfiltered ideas to sort through, many of which will have no tie back to corporate objectives. And by not responding to all ideas, your submitters will get frustrated, causing ideas to dwindle in the long run.

  2. Use a solution pull strategy over idea push. This requires some thinking on problem statements and an understanding of business challenges. However, changing to this kind of focused challenge paradigm will guarantee ideas are on target with company priorities.
  3. Ideapull


  4. Respond to every submission that comes in, having a focused challenge will make this easier. Idea submitters don't mind being told NO, but they like to know why. Keeping the two way dialogue alive will ensure that ideas get better over time and continue to encourage participation. If submitter's ideas go into a black hole, this will make them less likely to participate over time. Providing a simple explanation for the idea not moving forward is much better than not hearing anything at all.

  5. Set a schedule and market your campaign. Leveraging your intranet, using a blog and a newsletter to communicate will keep your campaign top of mind and keep employees participating, collaborating, commenting, and elaborating on ideas. Develop a schedule that has multiple campaigns running at once so that each is in a different phase of execution and review at any one time.

  6. Develop a top level strategy deployment. This can be scheduled longer than a standard campaign period and is a business process developed in partnership with the CEO or President to set audacious goals for the entire company to strive for in the year. This is a stretch goal challenge that requires the entire company to be in alignment and work towards, to try to attain something the company isn't currently doing.

Daveandpaul_hhDavid ends the interview by sporting his Innovation hard hat, tapping into the metaphor that innovation is fun, but at the same time can be messy like a construction site and also a little dangerous. You should always start with a blueprint, but in the midst of the construction, you should be comfortable getting your hands dirty but above all staying safe. And don't lose sight that it's okay be silly and have fun!

The interview is loaded with many more ideas for how to best structure an innovation program, how to set expectations and above all ensure success that will keep the program running for years to come. He reminds us to take things slow, establish a process and nurture it along the way, which will leave room for wider expansion that builds upon program success.

We're thankful to our partner Planview for providing a forum for our conversation. If you're interested in hearing best practices from more innovation practitioners, our next Birds of Feather (BOF) event is happening soon in Chicago on June 24, 25th. If you'd like to apply for an invitation to attend, please contact Celia Seib for more information.

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