In this post, I’d like to address a basic question:
What exactly is Idea Management, and how can it benefit you?
As we all know, ideas form the foundation of all innovation. Yet, at most companies there is no systematic way to turn ideas into innovation. In fact, most companies leave it to chance to determine whether the right ideas make their way to the right people – i.e. people with decision making authority.
As a result, at most companies, ideas from only a small number of people have a realistic chance of becoming reality. This is usually people like R&D personnel and senior executives. This is bad enough, but often there’s an even bigger problem…
The ideas that get selected for implementation are often decided by ad hoc criteria, politics, HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), or worse. Yes, there are even worse ways!
Idea Management, on the other hand, refers to:
A systematic process for generating, capturing, and evaluating ideas – and turning the best ideas into practical, real-world innovation.
By relying on a systematic process – companies such as IDEO, P&G, 3M and GE are able to tap into ideas from a much wider array of people (employees throughout the company, customers, partners, suppliers, et al). They then rely on systems & processes to identify the most promising ideas and turn them into innovation.
Structured idea management enables these companies to continuously innovate and grow. Companies of all sizes can benefit from such structured idea management.