Tackling Idea Management and Implementation in 7 Steps
The human brain is a fantastic generator of ideas. It's our own little idea manufacturing plant functioning around the clock (Although sometimes it seems like the boss sent everyone home early for the day). Once that lightbulb floating above our heads goes off, anything is possible. Ideas can come from anyone in your organization, and the best part is helping make those ideas come to life.
It's not feasible to take any idea and "wing it." Idea management and implementation strategies must be in place for testing and taking these innovations to scale effectively. With a proper generation and development process, you can create new offerings with a broad and diverse set of ideas and convert them into profitable business concepts.
Companies with effective idea management and implementation processes harness creativity, a powerful yet often overlooked tool for business success.
Idea Management and Implementation Strategies
Idea management is a structured process of generating, organizing, evaluating, and implementing valuable insight that would otherwise have gone overlooked through standard procedures. The ongoing objective is to drive innovation within an organization which in turn drives large-scale change.
Unlike other models or practices, idea management and implementation can be a straightforward and flexible process. There is no rule in business saying your organization must have the most complex, intricate model in the field to be successful. Sometimes less is more, and in this case, simplicity is hugely transformative.
What Can It Do for My Business?
There is no way we could list off all the possible benefits idea management can provide you. At least not in a reasonable amount of time. You and your team are unique, and no two brains think exactly alike, thus making your results from implementing idea management unique.
However, after years of experience in the innovation field, we can tell you that there are “standard” benefits (they’re actually pretty extraordinary) you will reap if you can successfully tap into the infinite sources of innovative ideas. Here are the top five:
- Increase efficiency and drive strategic transformation.
- Discover a variety of ideas for new markets, opportunities, and revenue streams.
- Cultivate an innovative culture that boosts employee morale and engagement.
- Improve internal communication and increase team collaboration.
- Outperform the competition and increase profits.
What's even better is that this can apply to your entire organization, not just the c-suite or department managers. Idea management and implementation benefit everyone, thus creating a positive cycle of engagement, productivity, and reward.
7 Steps to Implement Your Idea Management Strategy
- Set your goals:
The first step to any innovation framework is to set your goals. (This should be the first step in literally every strategy you want to structure.)
Idea management and implementation aren't going to happen overnight. It's critical to take the time to assess what you want out of this journey. Ideally, you want to do this with all team members involved. Remember, innovation isn’t a solo mission, and as much as we often like to think, we don’t know everything. Plus, sharing these goals and objectives helps get everyone on the same page—a necessity for successful teamwork.
Also, be sure to define how you measure progress towards your goals. Which metrics matter to you? These metrics will allow the innovation team to clearly show progress to key stakeholders and defend the program against any possible cost-cutting measures.
- Choose an idea management tool:
Here's a hint—idea and innovation management software. Considering how much technology has taken over our world, you may as well take advantage of it, too. There are plenty of options for innovation management software, so narrow down your choices by asking the following questions:
- Are you able to deliver updates and gather feedback directly within the platform
- Is there a mobile app to capture ideas instantly?
- Can everyone contribute and encourage a collaborative culture?
- Does it enable bottom-up ideation?
- Does it make the idea management process easier with scalability?
- No more “there’s no time to gather feedback" excuses (You know what they say about excuses, right?). Excuses are used to build monuments of nothingness. Optimal software makes receiving feedback on ideas and concepts easy, planting the seed for a robust feedback culture.
- Identify your stakeholders:
The most important reason for identifying your stakeholders is that it allows you to recruit them into the team and learn what metrics interest them. Then, armed with those metrics, you are able to keep their support by showcasing the program's success, making it harder to be stopped by internal politics.
- Build up your internal strategy:
Although ideas can sprout from anywhere, there still needs to be a structured plan in place. This step may seem obvious to some, but your idea management team must be prepared to lead and listen.
- Create motivation and encourage collaboration:
The primary goal of an innovative culture is to get and keep everyone involved. Motivate your teams. Create a space where they're not afraid to have a voice and share their ideas. The best way to do this is by recognizing individual and team efforts, offering support, and always remaining positive. We have said it before and we’ll say it again, teamwork makes the dream work.
Note: Consider adding incentives to your program for even more motivation and engagement.
- Take action:
Self-explanatory. Get moving! All this planning means nothing if you never take that leap of faith and begin implementing your ideas. This planning has set up the framework, goals, objectives, and strategies to do so—all you have to do is do it! But if you need a little help getting the process rolling, innovation as a service programs exist for the very purpose of helping your organization implement innovation solutions, using tried and true methodologies.
- Review, learn, and close the loop:
Once your idea management and implementation have reached initiation, give it a few trial runs. Taking the time to review everything helps you gain perspective on what's working and what isn't.
Closing the loop is the quick follow-up to reviewing and learning. Sharing successes, failures, and lessons learned with your team helps display the resiliency and driven attitude necessary for growth. Remember that failures are especially important to share (though we're inclined only to share successes). Believe it or not, it's encouraging. It tells everyone that not only is it a normal part of innovation, but it directly contributes to ultimate success.
Did you know that “75% of change initiatives fall short of expectations due to employee resistance, lack of clarity, and leadership support"? Therefore, it's crucial to take the process seriously (but positively) and give your very best at all times. Let these steps guide you through from beginning to end to ensure you set up and implement the best possible framework for yourself and your team. So, create a single hub where all the above key performance metrics are displayed to your team so that the process can be measured and improved.
rready to See Idea Management in Action?
rready provides leaders with all the right tools to build an innovative work environment. Your team members look to you for guidance and inspiration. Be the innovative leader they want to see and guide your organization down the path to success. You already have your company's ideas and big plans. You’ve harnessed the greatest characteristics of innovative leaders. So take action and keep the inspiration flowing.
rready has helped clients successfully identify and implement their most innovative ideas with our KICKBOX program. We are invested in our clients getting the most out of our services, working hands-on to help structure, refine, and perfect the idea management and implementation process with the greatest possible chance of success. Contact us today so we can help you turn your ideas into reality.Get started today