How to Take Employee Suggestions from Idea to Reality

When building a robust innovation strategy, it should be known that a company-wide approach will statistically yield more ideas. As such, avoiding bureaucracy and actively encouraging employees to innovate could be a crucial step on the path to greatness.

However, knowing how to implement employee suggestions effectively and turn ideas into reality can feel daunting. Not least for organizations that have previously worked with bureaucratic methodologies in place. Here’s how to update your corporate innovation strategy to see greater success from employee-driven concepts.

Step 1: Make innovation accessible

Before you can actualize concepts, it's crucial to foster an environment where team members regularly propose innovative ideas. Implenia is one organization that has shown how intrapreneurship can become accessible with KICKBOX and related tools. To build a truly successful platform for innovation, though, a mindset shift will be required. The following tips will help you achieve it;

  • Promote psychological safety by removing the fear of failure.
  • Allow employees to work on innovations at convenient times rather than set periods.
  • Enable employees to experiment without seeking permission from superiors.


Step 2: Know which ideas deserve attention

The difference between a successful or unsuccessful corporate innovation strategy often revolves around the ability to abandon bad ideas early. This means that we can focus energies on concepts that have a chance to thrive. As an organization, you must learn how to choose the best employee-driven innovations based on contextuality, viability, desirability, and feasibility. Actively encouraging employees to take these elements into account when working on their ideas should have a hugely positive impact.

Better still, knowing that the right ideas have been selected will allow intrapreneurs to work on them with confidence. In turn, this should significantly boost the hopes of a successful implementation.


Step 3: Encourage collaborative efforts

Research shows that 59% of company executives aren’t sure they have the right people with the right skills needed to deliver high-quality innovation. In many cases, though, employees are blessed with great ideas but simply don’t know how to turn them into implementations. While KICKBOX provides the framework and templates to move projects along, collaborations can take endeavors to the next level. The best ways include;

  • Encouraging collaborative work between teams, ensuring all parties are rewarded for their efforts rather than just the person that reaches the big idea.
  • Using the KICKBOX ecosystem to connect with other organizations and KICKBOXers.
  • Accepting suggestions from customers as a part of the idea-generation process.


Step 4: Show enthusiasm to new ideas

If you want employees to keep presenting ideas, you need to incentivize them. Praise and general enthusiasm, even for ideas that don’t work, can serve you well. Forbes describes corporate innovation as “having out-of-the-box thinking as a strategy within your business”. So, while an idea or implementation strategy may not seem natural to you, it could be the best way to get a product out to market.

Meanwhile, we live in a data-driven era that’s also supported by Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and other tech tools. Streamline the prototyping processes using them, and release employee ideas quickly and with reduced risks.


Step 5: Quit the pursuit of instant perfection

The truth is that even successful ideas will often go through several iterations before they can succeed. Unfortunately, falling into the trap of not releasing tech innovations until they’re perfect will stop you from ever turning ideas into reality. Make getting products to market a priority or you might always feel unprepared and stuck in a cycle. 

Upgrades, such as software patches, can be added at a later date. You can discover them through;

  • Creating feedback loops with customers, who can make their suggestions.
  • Having feedback sessions as a team to reflect on the good and bad.
  • Continuing to experiment after the initial product has been released.


Innovate with KICKBOX 

When looking to implement employee innovations with a greater success rate, having the right tools at your team’s disposal is vital. KICKBOX is the ultimate employee innovation program and can transform the future of your business forever.

rready has been helping organizations create and sustain innovation programs for years. Get in touch with us today, and together we can build an innovation solution that works for you.

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