Just as one problem can have several solutions, if there are more people thinking about the problem, the number of solutions can be multiplied.
Can an organization open its strategic challenges to participation and ideas from, for example, all its employees? What are the advantages of this process when it is carried out within an innovation community?
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The following are some of these advantages:
- Obtain more ideas, when compared to an offline process limited to only a certain number of ideators, rather than all employees in an organization.
- Obtain (presumably) better ideas: if there are more ideas, there will be more viable solutions. Also, because the process of generating ideas is open, some ideators can contribute to and refine the ideas of others.
- Obtain ideas more quickly, thanks to the technology and a simple participation process, user-friendly and open 24/7.
- Associate ideas with moments of inspiration, not only with the office desk. Ideas can be shared from home, from your living room couch…
- Access external talent: if employees can participate from outside the office, so can people who are not employees. The challenge can be opened to consumers, students… capturing more diverse ideas, from different perspectives.
- Feedback on ideas and ideators: in a traditional suggestions box, an idea is left there and the author–if there is one–awaits feedback. In a community, the author can see his/her idea and the ideas of others, and can be inspired by new ideas or co-create ideas with others.
- Find several solutions for the same problem. In a community and innovation challenge, there are mechanisms to evaluate ideas and access a cluster of possible solutions that can be implemented according to their cost, implementation time, projected returns…
- Obtain ideas more quickly… and filter the good from the bad just as quickly, thanks to the special mechanisms referred to above, accelerating the development of ideas and their time to market.
- Create a sense of belonging to the organization and its objectives. In the case of employees, their ideas are listened to and possibly implemented, reinforcing their sense of purpose within the organization, as well as their engagement and acknowledgement.
- Gain more and better knowledge about participants depending on the information that can be extracted from their ideas. Corporate needs can be detected, as well as superideators or hidden talent, by functional areas. And if consumers participate, their ideas can validate the possible launch of products or services.
- Stimulate the appetite for innovation, among other values associated with the organization’s cultural change.
Are you thinking of launching an innovation challenge open to ideas from your employees?
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