- Published Date
- Rikus Grobler
- Hits: 696
We are still in the “generate ideas” stage of the innovation process. I hope by now I have made you aware of the importance of defining proper questions, the usefulness of collaboration on ideas, driving idea submission as idea campaigns and not a suggestion scheme, and the power of the idea. As mentioned before, the culture of the organisation will be the biggest factor in getting in ideas, not the creative ability of your workforce. Based on experience I’ve had with running idea campaigns, you will be surprised who comes out of the woodwork to submit ideas, if the culture is conducive and the people are not afraid to submit ideas. I have witnessed an idea campaign where about 60 people were invited to participate, 24 responded to the challenge, and they submitted over 80 ideas, of which 15 ideas were eventually implemented, which brought about a saving of N$ 500,000 for the business.
Idea Management Platforms
I have been in the software “game” for quite a while and at a stage in my career it was my job to be knowledgeable on the latest and greatest in enterprise systems. Five years ago, the concept of Innovation Management Platforms (IMP) or Idea Management Systems as it is sometimes called, was very new and there were only a few options available. However, there has been an explosion in these types of systems and there are now many options available. It ranges from very simple and cheap or even free, to very complex and expensive. But let me take a step back and discuss what an IMP actually does.
An IMP is basically a software system that provides the following functions with regards to managing the innovation process: A means for soliciting ideas; A means for capturing ideas; Collaboration tools that allow people to build or collaborate upon ideas; Reward tools; Idea review tools for determining which ideas offer the most promise; and Reporting tools. In addition, most systems include numerous functions to further enhance the ideal management process, such as e-mail notifications of new ideas, automatic rewards schemes, creative thinking support, project management integration and more.
So what value do these systems bring to the organisation? An IMP provides an organisation with the functionality to manage, monitor and implement innovation in a structured way. Although it is not the only way to approach innovation, it is very appealing to management as it provides structure, discipline, clear milestones and metrics to what may otherwise be a very qualitative and unstructured process. It relieves the administrative burden that comes with the innovation management processes. Remember that an IMP is just a tool, just as a Word processing application will not make you a great writer and a fancy expensive cell phone will not make you a better communicator, an IMP will not innovate for the organisation. However, the fact that it simplifies and streamlines some of the routine tasks, makes it a very useful tool when driving large scale innovation efforts. Referring to the example above, think about the amount of effort required to review, group, evaluate, build and give feedback on 80 ideas, and this is just one campaign, we ran six campaigns in that organisation in one year. That is one every 2 months, and we eventually had over 300 ideas. Remember, if you don’t want people to become discouraged with innovation, every idea needs to be reviewed and feedback given to the submitter.
So, usually the next question is, why can’t I just use Excel for this? The answer is simple, an important contribution of these systems is the collaboration functionality, driven by the social media phenomenon that so many of us use these days. It allows people to share, discuss and contribute to ideas, and, among other, Excel does not have this social media and collaboration tools component.
- Articles In This Category
- Private Portfolio - Tweaking the Pension Act (242 hits)ColumnsI read with great interest the interview with the new CEO of the GIPF which was reported in a previous issue of the Economist. I now wish to propose...ColumnsBackground In the previous article I discussed the important role of leadership to foster innovation in the organisation. If the...ColumnsThose of you who have not been following my column have missed out on many tips and tricks that ensure a safe online shopping experience. But don’t...ColumnsIf you want to manage your brand, for profit, this is the most valuable piece of information you will come across. If you need to satisfy...This Week in The Khuta -Lessons from Germany (349 hits)ColumnsMy recent trip to Germany was a real eye opener in the true sense. Coming from a country with an ambitious plan to become an industrialised nation by...Innovation - Open Innovation – Part 1 (588 hits)ColumnsBackground I have covered the total innovation process from defining the challenge, generating ideas and through to commercialisation. The...This week in the Khuta - My Swansong (932 hits)ColumnsI do not know how to begin to write this. Usually I overflow with ideas on what to say and how to say it, but writing this piece is difficult. I hate...This week in the Khuta - Kudos to GRN (1294 hits)ColumnsAt a critical moment in history when people all over the world have nothing but disdain for their governments as a result of a myriad of problems in...ColumnsAs competition heats up in the online selling space, online retailers need to get more and more creative to stand out above the crowd. Two elements...This Week in The Khuta - Who exploits who? (477 hits)ColumnsIf you have been reading newspapers and watching the news of late you will agree with me when I say, the year 2012 has earned a reputation for being...
- Related Articles
- Innovation key to horse mackerel (1339 hits)HeadlinesFisheries right owners who trade in Horse Mackerel should come up with innovative ways to create jobs and improve the quality of fish products, says...ColumnsBackground In the previous article I looked at the question of where to focus innovation. My approach is to firstly make innovation a mind-set and to...Innovation - The drivers of innovation (1136 hits)ColumnsBackground In the previous article I looked at the issue of aligning your innovation strategy with your business strategy. This is an important...ColumnsBackground I have now established many of the key aspects of innovation: what it is; why it is important; where do you focus innovation; aligning...NBIC paves way for innovation (617 hits)MarketsThe Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC) will host an interactive “idea creation workshop” with the expertise of the Institute of Leadership...
- Latest Articles
- Spanish navy ship “Rayo” visits Lüderitz (218 hits)General NewsThe Spanish Navy Ship “Rayo” paid a visit to Luderitz this week. This is the first time this brand new ship, an ocean patrol vessel, entered...Conference in the North launched (512 hits)HeadlinesIts official, the Economist Businesswomen Club this week launched the 14th edition of its annual Businesswomen Conference in the North when...Govt urged to restructure energy (489 hits)HeadlinesThe business community has called for the restructuring of the local energy sector to allow for more players in the sector in order to guarantee...Trade with UK falls 28% (451 hits)HeadlinesThe decision by the world’s leading diamond company De Beers to move its diamond sorting operations from London to Botswana has seen a 28% drop in...The winter of our energy discontent (84 hits)Editors DeskWith the first portent of another winter arriving during the week, energy is again on everybody’s mind. And it is not only the dreaded fear of an...