So, what’s your idea? Spurring innovation in your organization

User .John Cochrane
Posted Date : April 15, 2014

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Are you looking for ways to improve innovation at your organization?  Sometimes innovative ideas aren’t shared because people don’t know who to take them to.  Or, they think that others would judge the idea’s value based on the person contributing it.  If you are looking to spur innovation at your organization, consider creating an online tool to collect ideas.

While lots of time and money can be spent creating an online idea collection system, you can use your organization’s current Sharepoint platform or combine a Google Form and Google Calendar to create a simple tool.  If you decide to implement this in your organization, keep a few things in mind:

  • Create a small innovation team to review the submissions and forward to those that can help implement them.  The submissions will also need to be blind-reviewed.  You don’t want politics to get in the way of innovation.
  • If your organization has several different teams and sites, you need to ensure that the submitter identifies where they think the idea will have the most value.  Perhaps it should only be implemented locally or only a specific team would gain the most value from it.
  • Submitters should be provided with confirmation that their submission was received.  It might also be helpful to provide them with regular updates if extra time is being taken to consider it.  Think about sending the submitter a calendar event that can be updated regularly to inform them of where their submission is in the review process.
  • For those ideas that are selected for implementation, it would be nice to provide a reward.  Reward tiers may be implemented based on impact (expected or actual) or based on site implementation (local, national, international). 

In conclusion, keep in mind that a tool like this doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.  It just might provide colleagues the freedom they need to contribute to innovation at your organization.

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