Why idea management is so important!
Modern idea management is more important for companies now than ever before – especially in this time of digital change. Originating from the company suggestion scheme, and closely related to the continuous improvement process, idea management is a major advantage in the competition for quality, costs, and innovations.
Many companies have overlaps with innovation management. There is one major difference: While idea management relies primarily on methods for brainstorming and developing ideas for internal process improvements, innovation management serves to develop new products and new business ideas.
The methods of idea management have developed further in recent years.
- In the beginning, idea management consisted of a clearly defined idea and innovation process, which provided for the generation, collection and selection of ideas in the form of clearly sequential steps.
- Today, methods such as co-creation, crowdsourcing, and open innovation are used in idea management.
The Innolytics® whitepaper “Winning and Successfully Implementing Employee Ideas” describes the most important advantages for companies to utilise modern idea management.
Idea management in your company
The establishment of a modern idea management system in the company has numerous advantages:
- Continuous cost reductions, which make processes more efficient and offers more competitive
- a measurable quality advantage through ideas for improvement by employees
- new product and service ideas resulting from the networking of departments, such as sales and production
Modern idea management also offers advantages for strategic topics, such as the development of digital services: Through the networking of younger and more experienced employees from different departments, the attitudes and views of the Digital Natives are combined with the experience of longstanding employees.
It is not only companies that benefit from modern idea management. It also contributes to a measurable increase in competitiveness in SMEs – such as in companies with a workforce of 15 or more employees.
Idea management – the 5 success factors
Successful idea management is characterised by clear success factors. Innolytics® founder and managing director Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer has researched these in his scientific work, which can be found in several publications. The most important success factors in idea management include:
Management’s commitment: Companies in which the management board and executives consistently motivate their employees to develop ideas can activate the creative potential of their employees much better than companies in which idea management is a marginal topic.
The value system. Companies that promote a creative working atmosphere take away employees’ fears of rejecting “wrong” or “stupid” ideas. In idea management, the rule of thumb applies: ten ideas come to a successfully implemented idea and are rejected. This rule of thumb is accepted in a company with a creative working atmosphere.
The networking of different departments: Employees often feel like they are swimming in their own “juice”. Why? The division of labour in companies inevitably leads to a kind of tunnel vision. A modern idea management system ensures that employees can see, and are not afraid to look, beyond their own horizons.
An incentive system: In classic idea management, employees were motivated by cash bonuses in exchange for viable ideas. Modern idea management offers incentives that go beyond this: Thus, modern idea management offers the possibility of creating an individual incentive system. Employees receive points for activities such as writing, commenting and evaluating ideas.
Joy! Science and practice have clearly shown that successful idea management is fun for employees. Companies can promote this through inspiring events – but above all, through work tools that motivate.
The Innolytics® whitepaper “Winning and Successfully Implementing Employee Ideas” describes how idea management can be successfully implemented in the company and supported by tools.
Idea management – The underestimated potential in the company
In their widely acclaimed book “Corporate Creativity – How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happens” idea management expert Alan G. Robinson and Samuel Stern highlighted a dilemma of numerous executives dealing with idea management. Executives and company directors are often aware that the creative potential in their company is considerably greater than what they are currently using. However, according to the scientists, they have difficulties in awakening this creative potential in idea management.
Innolytics® founder Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer has answered the question of how managers can gain and use the underestimated potential in idea management in numerous specialist articles, scientific papers and books, such as “The Edison Principle”. In the article “Wanted – Recipes for the Growth of the Future” he describes the challenges for companies undergoing change. In the Harvard Business Manager, he points out that companies often rely on the wrong idea management tools. And in the English language publication for the Canadian magazine TIM Review he mentions factors for building a creative corporate culture.
By building up an idea management system, companies and their management can identify and exploit the underestimated potential.
The decisive factors are:
- Interview employees about their ideas and wishes
- Inspire employees about idea management
- Gain the support of the top management or the management board
- Selecting and using the right tools
Innolytics® GmbH supports companies in activating and exploiting their underestimated potential, through many years of experience in idea management.
Idea management by Innolytics®
Innolytics® GmbH has years of expertise in the development of idea management processes and idea management tools. With this experience, we have developed Innolytics® Ideas – a software for the next generation of idea management. It allows employees in the idea management process to network with each other, enter ideas, discuss and evaluate them.
Our definition of idea management: A creative process that motivates employees
The definition of idea management at Wikipedia is short:
„Generation, collection and selection of suitable ideas for improvements and innovations.“.
Our definition goes further: idea management is motivation and teamwork. Bringing employees together, inspiring them for idea management and shaping the future of a company together.
When developing Innolytics® Ideas, this was our goal: Use social media technologies to further develop the classic definition of idea management. And to develop a tool that supports the company suggestion scheme and the continuous improvement process with state-of-the-art technology.
Idea Management – The Success Process of Innolytics® Ideas
The classic idea management process provided for a clear course of action: Suggestions for ideas were submitted via a form, and reviewers evaluated and awarded those suggestions prizes or not. This classic idea process has numerous shortcomings: Unfortunately, feedback takes a long time, and the motivation of employees is apt to decrease.
On the basis of more than 100 projects in companies, we have redefined the idea management process. We orientated ourselves on scientific knowledge about creative employees and companies. We found that promoting the creativity of employees and supporting managers in building an innovative corporate culture was our most important goal.
In the idea management process of Innolytics® Ideas, employees enter ideas from everywhere. Instead of a lengthy process, these ideas are commented on, developed further, and finally evaluated according to transparent criteria in an interactive process. The status display makes it possible to present the status of each idea (“Submitted”, “In Discussion”, “Successfully Implemented”) transparently in the idea management process. Idea coaches motivate employees to continuously optimize suggestions.
Innolytics® GmbH supports companies in establishing a future-oriented idea management system. The implementation of Innolytics® Ideas is supported by workshops and seminars to impart the necessary know-how. Together with customers, Innolytics® develops long-term plans for idea campaigns and the creative implementation of graphics and videos.
Innolytics® Ideas supports idea management in large corporations as well as SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises.
Idea management software: Innolytics® Ideas
Innolytics® Ideas follows the logic of social networks:
- Ideas, comments and ratings can be entered from anywhere in the world. Also mobile – via smartphone. Important for global idea management. The idea management software apps are available at Apple and Google
- Ideas are discussed with colleagues, and thus step-by-step to develop concepts.
- The evaluation is based on criteria: Traceable, transparent and from different perspectives
- Innolytics® Ideas gives your company more employee ideas. Ideas are followed by quick, well-founded feedback. Your company increases efficiency and innovation
By working with Innolytics®, you get more than just an idea management software: You benefit from our many years of practical know-how in establishing idea management processes in companies and from our scientifically-based expertise.
The success factor in professional idea management
- Get to know the advantages of Innolytics® Ideas.
- Download the free whitepaper now: “Winning and Successfully Implementing Employees – Guidelines for Innovative Idea Management”
- View Innolytics® Ideas features in a video software demo now