Opening a corporate innovation challenge to participation from an organization’s entire ecosystem, in practice, gives the organization access to more solutions–and a wider variety of solutions–for its strategic challenges.
What is the objective of this type of challenge? Primarily, they seek to find said solutions, to do so more quickly, and to gain access to more diversity in the responses obtained.
How to promote an innovation challenge? Today, technology enables the creation of a community of ideators at the service of an organization’s innovation objectives.
In this post, we summarize the main steps included in our free ebook to promote a corporate innovation challenge open to an organization’s employees and other collaborators:
1. Choose a channel.
An organization needs a space that brings together all participants in an idea challenge. The use of digital innovation communities allows organizations to gather and co-create a wide range of ideas.
2. Define the challenge:
Which areas of an organization can be open to an innovation challenge? The answer is very simple: all those that are strategically relevant. This question is accompanied by another, highly relevant one: what are the objectives of the challenge?
10+1 keys to promote an innovation challenge
3. Select participants:
Once you know what the idea challenge is about, a common question is who will participate in it. The entire organization, part of it, or even external stakeholders? This will depend on the topic of the challenge–on whether it is general or niche–and on whether the organization wishes to include external talent, apart from its employees, such as universities, startups…
4. The right wording for the challenge will seek to convey the appropriate objectives and questions. It should adapt to the profile and thematic knowledge of participants, and may also be supported by materials and sources that provide context, to inspire quality participation (see example).
5. Set up stages:
In general, an innovation challenge will have an initial phase to gather ideas, a second scouting-evaluation stage, and lastly a phase where the winning ideas are selected.
6. Design incentives.
Innovation challenges usually have incentives in line with their participants’ motivations, which can go from an authentic willingness to solve the proposed problem, to a desire of winning a prize or gaining prestige and visibility among other participants.
7. Launch and communicate!
Raising the curtain on an innovation challenge entails its diffusion among potential participants, with the support of an online and offline communication plan, particularly in its initial stages.
8. Create community.
Stimulating participation is essential in an innovation challenge. This will require providing feedback for shared ideas. Also, communication actions to create peaks and tackle moments of lesser participation. This activity will be complemented by users themselves, who build a community with their votes, comments and co-creation in shared ideas.
9. Monitor ideas:
For a challenge to bear fruit, there needs to be a process of evaluation and selection of ideas with the greatest potential. A group of experts in the area covered by the challenge will be responsible for this, with the support of tools in the community that can help to predict an idea’s feasibility, its timescale, required resources, and estimated return on investment.
10. Closing and conclusions:
At the end of an innovation challenge, participants will want to know about winning ideas and their authors. The organization must also thank all users for their participation, reinforcing their engagement with the community.
And most importantly:
11. Don’t forget ideas in a drawer.
Ultimately, the objective of an idea challenge is to implement ideas. Having a system to find and detect ideas speeds up the organization’s capacity for innovation and its impact, and enables a more efficient launch to market.
*** Discover in-depth keys and tips to promote an idea challenge in our free ebook.