Leverage Insights across the Whole Organization
People throughout every organization, at every level, have ideas every day that could potentially improve your business on any of a wide variety of levels. A delivery driver might notice that route assignments are inefficient because he shares territory with another driver; a clerk always runs out of one form every month but has extras of another; a back-end engineer comes up with an improvement to the app’s user interface. How can you make use of these ideas as part of your business’s standard operations?
Many organizations already employ rudimentary systems, like email aliases or suggestion boxes, to capture these ideas. Keeping track of these ideas, however, connecting them with the problems they might solve, and putting them into action is challenging using ad hoc methods even on the scale of a small team, let alone a large organization. The good news is that these ideas can be collected in a more meaningful and useful way using idea management software.
Make Ideas Discoverable
Idea management software—like Kindling—has a number of advantages over lower-tech methods of collecting and organizing ideas. Innovation software collects employee insights and inspirations in a way that preserves not just the actual content, but also the context and the conversation it spurs. Additionally this collection becomes a historical and canonical system of record for ideas across the organization.
Of more immediate business use is the ability of idea management software to channel innovation creativity towards specific business goals. Since idea management software is organized by topics or challenges (in Kindling, business Categories or timely Campaigns) each idea is immediately visible as being related to a specific problem or opportunity and monitored by the appropriate parties to react to or develop that specific idea.
Collaborate across Silos
Another advantage of idea management software is that sharing and membership across multiple groups facilitates discussions between departments and teams. Whereas a meeting might spur some great ideas, and some of those ideas may make it out of the meeting in the form of notes, minutes, and action items, an idea recorded on idea management software could be seen and discussed by not just the attendees of that meeting, but also the members of the entire department or an entirely different team or a different office on the other side of the world.
If someone knows of an expert who can answer a question about the idea or a manager who worked on a similar project in the past, idea management software allows that person to share the idea with the expert or manager, requesting their input and keeping the conversation going. The right mix of cross-team visibility and sharing functionality means serendipitous collaboration is possible across teams and time zones without letting ideas escape the notice of people who can develop them best.
Never Lose an Idea
Since idea management software makes it possible to quickly execute on actionable ideas, keep not-quite-fully-developed ideas viable forever, shelve ideas when they are proven impossible, or put ideas on hold for a time when they become doable, it effectively removes the tendency of ideas to be forgotten when not put into action immediately. Better still, that idea will always be associated with the input and testing done to determine its value, along with detailed information about the people and situation that produced it.
Whether the idea is useful in the moment or years down the line, research and discussion done to advance the idea toward execution will always be preserved alongside it, saving time and continuing to offer employees the benefit of a collaborative attempt to solve the problem at hand. In contrast, an idea sent to an email alias or dropped in a suggestion box is either forwarded, responded to, or deleted, and inevitably lost in the invisible chronology of all ideas ever submitted.
Don’t lose your ideas: use idea management software.