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Sara Koff

Uncover That Lost Idea

Idea-generating conversations are happening throughout your organization. Your colleagues are chatting about a great new product offering over coffee or discussing how to increase productivity in an email chain. For most companies, however, the challenge is tapping into all of these disparate conversations to uncover those ideas that will effectively drive the business forward. While your organization might have many ideas, these ideas are easily lost - forgotten at the end of a conversation, or trapped in a communication only shared between one or two employees.

Ideas lost within your organization can solve a whole host of challenges or problems. Maybe your organization is struggling to feel more connected to your customer base, or trying to grow by uncovering new revenue opportunities. You may be dealing with a disengaged workforce or looking to make your production process more efficient. Whatever the challenge, your employees are your most valuable asset. Their intricate knowledge of your processes and pitfalls can help identify areas for improvement as well as potential solutions. You can best leverage your employees to solve your business challenges by creating a centralized and highly visible place to share and discuss ideas. Using innovation software—like Kindling—to organize and store ideas can help you tap into the collective brainpower of your employees and uncover solutions to your most pressing challenges.

Companies have implemented various idea management solutions from a virtual suggestion box to meetings and brainstorming sessions in hopes of ensuring that ideas reach the appropriate people. The difficulty with these approaches, however, is that they are limited by inherent corporate barriers that can stifle conversation. A suggestion box limits others from participating in the idea and lending their expertise to enhance it. Meetings, even with virtual meeting technology, are restricted based on geography and siloed based on department or corporate hierarchy. Without a centralized place for your employees to submit, discuss, and make decisions about ideas, your organization is potentially leaving a lot of ideas on the table and not seeing the maximum benefits of your workforce. On the other hand, innovation software can help you realize the full impact of these ideas.

In a recent review of 2016’s Consumer Electronics show, ZDnet’s Editor in Chief Larry Dignan characterized meaningful innovation, or "innovation that matters" in a couple of different ways. First, "Innovation...has to be tied to money and a real business case". Second, Dignan pointed out, "One advance by itself may only be meaningful when combined with other developments". The most significant benefit of these discovered ideas is that each Idea is an opportunity to affect your bottom line. For example, one of your account executives could have an idea for a new product, based on their hundreds of conversations with your customers, that could result in a brand new revenue stream. Similarly, a factory worker might identify operational inefficiencies that could save your company a significant amount of time and money. Using innovation software, your employees can voice these ideas and your team of experts can assess their revenue generating potential before investing your company’s resources. That way your business can focus on ideas that will demonstrate real ROI. In addition, innovation software empowers managers to find related ideas and cross pollinate them to create meaningful change. For example, an idea to add an introduction video to your application might make it easier for your customers to get started with your platform, but that change, coupled with an increased focus on engagement in one-on-one training sessions might revolutionize your on-boarding process, shortening the length of time between when customers purchase your product and when they actually use it. By bringing ideas together, the ultimate impact of the ideas you’ve uncovered becomes greater than the value of each individual idea and might even lead your team down the road to innovation that truly matters.