I started my professional career, working with a company where I was better off throwing my ideas in the trash than telling them to my manager.
Months of frustration led to quitting my job and ‘divorcing’ the company I had loved from day one.
Not an easy decision.
To this day, I don’t think my manager purposely ignored my ideas. In busy times, it’s easy to forget good ideas on the table.
Luckily, there is a solution to that problem, it’s called innovation management.
Let’s have a look at the 6 most frequently asked questions about our innovation app.
1. Why is it important to gather new ideas from employees?
Employees are the people who work for your company and sacrifice their precious time to achieve your vision.
As a manager, you might have a pretty good idea of what is going on, but you cannot be everywhere. It’s time to face the fact that different departments and different team members have different experiences. They will all benefit your organization in the end if you can get them to work for you…
“Endless data show that diverse teams make better decisions.”
A single person or a small group of people are very unlikely to continuously come up with fresh, novel and innovative ideas. Empowering your employees to think on behalf of the company creates a fresh inflow of ideas. Points of view from various perspectives can be used for necessary innovations and adjustments in your company.
2. Is the innovation app more important for smaller or larger companies?
The need for innovation imminent, regardless if we talk about Forbes Top 25 company or a small start-up.
Granted, communication within start-ups and small-scale companies might seem easier but setting up the right corporate culture from the beginning is essential. Every start-up has the vision to make it big, why not set up business processes accordingly right from the beginning? Besides, over the course of client projects, we’ve found that communication oftentimes does not flourish in the way we think it does in these settings. So even if you are only 10 people you often times need a tool to keep track of ideas as they evolve and grow.
Meanwhile, large enterprises are usually slower at implementing new ideas. It requires a lot of working around the bureaucracy. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the company is, the harder it is to change things. Managers in the bigger companies tend to be overwhelmed by the workload and information they come around daily. Listening to each person individually is off the table because it consumes too much time. Their mailboxes might be full of unread suggestions, which is widely discouraging for participants.
So to answer the question; it’s important in both scenarios. The setup and the features needed will vary from a 10 people team to a 5,000 people project.
3. Why is it not anonymous?
Many of our customers ask why on earth don’t we let people be anonymous. Surely this must increase the feeling of safe space and welcome more to contribute on the platform?
Well, we want participants to feel engaged and the software should create a safe space for them to present their ideas to colleagues. Each contributor should know that no idea is crazy enough not to be presented. Failures should be encouraged by management because no progress is made without initial failures.
Taking ownership is taking action. By taking ownership of their ideas, employees will engage and follow up on their thoughts. It’s about taking action without trying to put the responsibility on somebody else. If there is an idea of making things better for you and your team, don’t wait for anybody else, be outspoken about it.
4. Is Innovation app time-consuming?
Creating an innovative culture is going to take time. Building a sense of safe space is going to take time. Learning to accept failure is going to take time. No-one said creating and sustaining an innovative culture is easy.
However, there are ways in which you can relieve the administrative burden of your innovation activities.
It takes only a couple of minutes to set up out innovation app. After that, you can invite your colleagues and post the first mission for your team. Now just lean back and watch the participants take over and come up with ideas.
But how? By automating feedback loops, notifications, transparency, moving ideas through innovation phases and data insights, of course…
5. How do I motivate my team to participate?
Working in the environment where employees can express their opinions freely is one of the pillars of building a healthy organization. Take Google and Facebook as an example. We can come up with many complaints about their services as their customers. One thing is certain though, they know how to create an environment that makes employees feel appreciated. You can accomplish higher engagement by encouraging them not to fear failure but rather embrace it. Employees will get involved in idea creation because they have the ability to make their work better and easier. The ability to follow up and elaborate on ideas keeps people interested in staying involved.
6. Is it just like Slack?
Short answer “no”. We love our company Slack channels. And while Slack is widely used software for corporate communication, it doesn’t offer the tools to manage ideas correctly. True, your ideas can be posted and presented but more often they get lost in the overwhelming number of messages and cat gifs. Meaning that things on Slack often get messy and you lose track of where ideas went, who acted on them and if they were ever considered.
Not only is this a frustrating process for you to manage, but it is also disheartening for your team. It looks like you don’t listen to the ideas that they shared.
To create engagement and get value from these ideas, you need transparency and processes. Ideanote lets your team follow how their ideas move through phases while you don’t have to keep track of the inflow of ideas on both mails, Slack, paper and during lunch.
In this article, we went through common questions that users ask us about our innovation app. Learn from other’s mistakes, the ‘divorce’ I went through at the beginning of my career is irreversible. The processes and relations of your company are in your hands. After reading this, do you feel comfortable putting actions behind words on that open door policy?
Want to know more? Try us out over here.