We’re in the Wall Street Journal!
Really happy to report that our software partner (it’s their software that we build upon) received extremely positive coverage in the Wall Street Journal. (See here for the article even if you don’t have a subscription ).
As the Wall Street Journal article says:
“Many companies rely on their senior executives and research-and-development teams to drive decisions around innovation. But now, some organizations are trying a different approach: They are giving rank-and-file employees a bigger say in which projects the companies pursue.”
This approach is modeled after websites like Kickstarter, where inventors and artists pitch their creative projects in the hopes people will fund them. With internal crowdsourcing, employees get to pitch their ideas to managers and colleagues—and collectively decide which projects the company should pursue. Some organizations accomplish this by giving employees virtual money to “invest” in the projects they think are worthy. The projects that attract the most interest are then funded with real money.
The goal is to tap into the pool of unused knowledge from internal innovators, whose ideas can get lost or diluted during a traditional idea approval process.
One of the companies profiled in the article is Canadian Nuclear Labs, which is about a three-hour drive from Ottawa in Chalk River.
CNL is the nation’s premier nuclear science and technology organization. It ran its inaugural “Seed Program” committing $1 Million for employees to propose – and (using company funds) directly invest in – new projects for the research pipeline. That’s right: they committed $1 million in innovation funds so that it gave employees an incentive to bring forward new ideas.
“We wanted a simple way to inspire people” and engage with them about their ideas, says Dana Hewit, CNL’s chief R&D operations officer.
CNL worked with our software partners, Cultivate Labs, last year to set up a platform through which employees could submit ideas. Each project was limited to a request of $100,000 in funding. Within three weeks, CNL received 38 proposals. The projects included proposed solutions to technical problems, inventions and workflow improvements. One idea was to create a 3-minute “elevator pitch” for researchers who struggle to describe their work to nontechnical audiences. The project was named “3-minutes to impact”—dry humor for a nuclear-research organization.
Once the ideas were vetted, CNL sought input from employees across the company, giving each eligible staff member $5,000 in virtual money to “invest” in the projects they liked best. The projects that received the most bids and met their investment targets were allocated a real budget and developed further.
Some at CNL were initially skeptical of the program, says Ms. Hewit, but when the winning projects were actually funded it generated enthusiasm for this year’s program. “Twenty of the projects were fully funded,” says Ms. Hewit. CNL launched the Seed Program again for this year, and received 25 to 30 ideas by the fourth day.
It is because of fabulous work that like that that CrowdBridge and Cultivate Labs decided to partner. Together we’re bringing the power of crowdsourcing innovation to even more organizations in Canada.
We’ve already worked with multiple federal departments and other organizations.
If you’d like to learn more, contact us here.