How to Choose the Best Employee-Driven Ideas to Invest in

Championing innovation is essential for businesses working in the modern landscape and is statistically shown to boost revenue by (11%) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (22%). While tools like KICKBOX are great for promoting innovation across the company, knowing which employee-driven ideas deserve investment can be quite challenging.

While all innovations require a little luck if they are going to succeed, equipping yourself with a winning blueprint will significantly boost your likelihood of unlocking great results. Use the following checklist throughout the decision-making process to make sure you select the ideas that are most likely to be successful.

1. Contextuality

While taking risks in the workplace is an important feature of an innovation culture, a great idea is only a great idea if it works within the context of your business. There are plenty of cases where innovations have failed solely because they do not align with the company’s vision or overall strategy. As such, all intrapreneurs must be aware of your mission statement and understand the company’s place in the market. 

Analyzing contextuality should be at the top of your agenda when selecting employee-driven ideas. Ideas that are not aligned with the firm’s objectives run the risk of alienating audiences and distracting teams from areas where they thrive. Worst still, when following up on an idea that isn’t linked to what you do, your employees may lack the skills and experience to see the vision materialise into a success story.


2. Viability

Studies show that up to 19 out of 20 product innovations fail. While there are many reasons for potential failure, a lack of long-term viability is one of the most common problems. An idea is only worth an investment of time, money, and resources if it can be shown to deliver profitability and value to the business.

KICKBOX can be used to test viability in a variety of ways. Collaborative efforts allow colleagues to pose questions or deliver potential solutions to proposed obstacles. Meanwhile, analytics and virtual testing facilitate data-driven decisions from the earliest stage.


3. Feasibility

It’s one thing to think of an idea that appears excellent in theory. But you also need to consider the technical possibility. The realities of financial and logistical limitations must be taken into account. Otherwise, you may fall into the trap of investing resources into a project that cannot reach completion or will be delayed until competitors have launched better solutions. And when analyzing feasibility becomes a key part of the early phases of your strategy, your ability to select ideas that can actively be developed will improve.


4. Desirability

Finally, it’s important to remember that other aspects will be rendered redundant if nobody is interested in the product. Therefore, analyzing the market desire and demand will be essential when determining which ideas are worth pursuing. 

One way to find ideas with high demand is to actively ask existing customers to make their suggestions. Starbucks is just one example of how this strategy can provide your employees with ideas that can be tweaked and developed into genuine innovations. Whether you take this path or gain ideas straight from the minds of your intrapreneurs, you must always ask what problem the product solves and whether clients will actively want it.


Finally, who should make the decisions?

Using the above blueprint will put you on the right path, but the decisions will still rely on the opinions of decision-makers. While you don’t want employees to feel like they have to jump through multiple hoops just to have their voice heard, you will want several people to judge whether an innovation is worthwhile. A committee including your chief strategy officer, data officer, director, and head of innovations is advised.

When starting out, a low threshold is advised. As more ideas are presented, you can increase the threshold so that the quality of the innovations you pursue will improve. 

Want to learn more about selecting the right ideas for your business? Contact rready today.

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