Whether you are CEO, CIO, team manager, or team member – you are probably in a position where good ideas positively impact your daily work and the company or organization you are part of.

Digital idea management makes collecting, sharing and improving ideas much simpler than outdated solutions.

Use the terms disruption or innovation and many of us won’t board your train. However, when removing these overused and anxiety-provoking terms from our actual development process, and focusing on our collective knowledge and experience, we can quickly realize step-by-step improvements is a process for everyone.

Take a look at any good idea – the idea in itself might be ground-breaking but it has most likely taken a long string of small ideas and improvements of current solutions and options, to carry out and complete the initial idea.
We all gather experiences and many of us get ideas on a regular basis. When combined, experience and new thinking brings us better solutions and ground-breaking products. Clashes inherit several opportunities, but we also know that if not structured or made actionable, we lose a lot of potential value in the early, often casual, phase of working with ideas.

Structuring this early-stage development process around a simple and digital idea management system holds enormous potential for you. As a modern, digital suggestion box, a simple idea management app creates transparency, social engagement, feedback loops – and structure in an otherwise unstructured process. The overall potential? Much wow.

So, how do I use digital idea management?

A couple of things must go into consideration in order to become really successful and enjoy the full benefits of an idea management software. Under the scorching heat of the summer, we will continue to elaborate on this hot topic, and starting off is a couple of things considering for anyone who wants to improve what they do and create a bigger impact:

Choose simplicity

Most people hate complicated IT. But most of us enjoy apps which makes our day better. Select simplicity first. Instead of spending your time on learning how to get things done, simple and intuitive features enables you to focus on getting stuff done. The difference between using a simple idea management software and a complicated one is in my opinion directly impacting your end result as complexity heavily negates the power of social engagement.

Try involving someone else

They say nobody is perfect. At Ideanote, we are not perfect. But we aim to improve and one of the finest ways of doing so is taking our ideas and actions to someone who is not sitting in the same room as the rest of us. We need input. We need to involve customers, friends, investors, advisers, neighbors, and anyone else we haven’t bothered before to help us improve.

Not only is it good fun to involve someone totally new and get their input and feedback, it is also valuable. When using our simple idea management app, try this out; make a list of the 5 persons you believe are the ones least likely to contribute to your ideas. Then with a few clicks, invite them to contribute and see what happens. Because what happens next could surprise you (obligatory slap for bad pun).

Acknowledge Engagement & Results

Some of us are not used to being asked to participate in the development of our workplace or organisation. We have a set of tasks which we perform and even though we try to improve, there are habits and workflows which we follow without changing much over the years. Some work in business cultures where top-down directions drives the day and where there is not much focus on enabling bottom-up development and true team member engagement. As much as this might be operational beneficial, I can’t help wondering how it impacts the product innovation and/or service development.

To counter this culture of non-contribution, it is important to acknowledge and support early contributions from everyone. The feedback and support will drive more activity, which in return spurs more engagement and early ownership. When using our idea management app, make sure to use the acknowledgement system and encourage others to do the same. Also consider combining your online in-app acknowledgement with some real life activity and show that you cherish the help and ideas you received. Some of our customers do this with great results. Oh, and you might even get a little something from the good folks at ideanote.

Drive the process forward with champions

If I were to mention one important thing which we have learned from running both innovation sprints and innovation marathons, it is the often apparent need for champions and/or an already present bedrock innovation culture that I would highlight first. This need for pre-existing structures or particularly enthusiastic team members, is in some cases the most decisive factor in a company’s internal, incremental daily innovation.

When using a digital platform for ideas, we often either need a dedicated front-runner, a champion, or we need a culture that spurs use of the platform and the processes surrounding it. To support the champions and improving the whole process of getting ideas and innovating on existing solutions, we believe it is imperative to select digital solutions which at the end of the day are beneficial, intuitive and… fun to use.

Never stop.

Do not fall into the trap of concluding that a poor result equals a poor idea. Always keep using the feedback loops available to you. Test, alter and try again. Keep asking for input, and keep seeking new perspectives on your existing challenges. How often have we not thought “Why has nobody thought of this earlier?”. In my opinion, it is a sound strategy to convey your challenges to a diverse crowd, get their help solving them, and let their different opinions and knowledge be part of a structured feedback loop. But keep in mind – sometimes it will be imperative that you are the last to speak. We need your people to truly engage your challenges with an open mind.

At Ideanote, we value the thought of everyone being able to share and grow their ideas. With our free and digital idea management software, you and your team can start collecting and sharing ideas in an organized way. Try it out today – it is free for you to use as long as you promise to use it to create better things. Oh, and please do let us know if you need assistance getting started or if you get stuck.

Not sure you can benefit from digital idea management? Check out this post about why you can…

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