Failure to Launch
You have great people and great intentions, but few results so far. Are you stuck?
Can’t decide which initiative to support
You’ve issued the “Call for Ideas” for great innovations at the company, and received dozens of ideas. But how do you pick an idea without demotivating everyone that contributed?
Employees don’t trust the process
Behind closed doors, senior managers pick which ideas to invest in. To most employees the process looks political, and they conclude that the next time they are asked for input they won’t bother submitting an idea.
Lack of a clear strategy
Labs are set up as “fun” places, but people working there seem unsure if they are charged with serving the core business or with disrupting it. This lack of strategy is a common symptom of innovation theater. Yet the curtain comes down quickly because ideas from these labs are disconnected from real customer needs.
What’s the Solution?
Rooms of smart people are smarter than smart people. With InnovationBridge, we engage with a diverse range of your employees (or stakeholders, or clients as you wish). Who knows your business better than them? We ask them first to think like an entrepreneur, and suggest innovations. Just like on Wikipedia, employees can co-create a proposal.
Next, we have your employees act like venture capitalists. Instead of always letting senior management pick the winners, the company allocates a portion of the innovation budget to participants (e.g., 100 participants get 1% each of the allotted innovation budget). Think of this like an internal company version of Kickstarter.
In the aggregate, the company can benefit from this distributed intelligence from across the company. Together the crowd is much more likely to pick the winning initiatives than a small group.
Because the allocating of funds is 100% transparent, it is seen as fair by everyone (even those whose ideas are not chosen) and therefore people are much more likely to support the initiative.
Employees love using these tools. Participation rates are in the 70% to 80% range, compared to 30% for annual engagement surveys.
Practical Ways to Get Started
At your next large gathering of employees, do a simple crowdsourcing exercise. Divide everyone into groups of 8 people. Ask everyone to identify one improvement they made this year. Have the group vote on the best idea. Have the person with the best idea from each table give a one minute presentation to all employees. At the end of the presentations, have all employees vote on the best idea. Have management agree it will fund whatever the crowd decides (up to a pre-determined limit). You’re just crowdsourced, and crowdfunded your first idea.
Then ask what your company could do if you went digital and scaled this process.