This is a summary of the article How to get an idea up and running in 10 days.
Great ideas come from great minds, and great minds are all around us. Often, employees are underestimated and their ideas are not heard, but those ideas could change the course of an organisation. Ideas should come from anyone. Often, the source of innovative ideas is a small portion of the company who’s not necessarily on the field. That leads to the creation to solutions … for the wrong problems. The best way for a company to advance and evolve is to be innovation-ready and to take ideas from all their employees. How could you be innovation ready? You must know where you’re going, what are your objectives: decreasing costs; operating for efficiently; new features/products. The decision is yours to make, the strategies to define, and the goals to set.
Now, all we must take care of is the assessment and evaluation of said ideas. Granted, many new ideas will be coming your way, and the opportunity for complaints is present. How can we make avoiding this problem possible? The solution is quite simple: instead of having an open “suggestions box”, you set the challenges. Challenges that are designed to focus ideas on the company’s necessary improvements. This way, incoming ideas are well focused and bear actionable solutions to your set challenge. Incoming results from these ideas are now faster to deploy and simpler to sort.
“Biting off more than your mouth can chew” is a major problematic. It is imperative to avoid taking on too much work at the same time, so set a limit of challenges in place at the same time and sort out actionable ideas as opposed to the less effective ones. An “ideation challenge” could be of great assistance: it consists of a wider organisation on focused challenges, with the small addition to prizes for innovative ideas. That pushes for more effective and relevant ideas. On the other hand, “hackathons” can be quite useful as well for proofing concept solutions or designing focused areas. These are just few of the many tools that lead to being innovation-ready. Although, these ideas aren’t necessarily for aspects of the organisation’s weaknesses, but can also focus on what works well and allow improvements on those aspects too.
Being Ready for Innovation is a learning process and none of us get it right the first time, but keep in mind, your organisation is just like a fist: “five separate fingers are all independent units. Close them and they become a fist, that multiplies their strength”. Your employees can empower your organisation much more than you expect.