A key factor of innovation is to enable personnel to have ideas on how to improve operations, products, and more. By ensuring the actual employees can express their ideas leads to new insights, while at the same time making people feel more engaged, and thereby makes them more productive. Idea management software is one way to do that, but you first need to consider how you will change the company culture so that people actually want to shared their ideas. Below are some things to think about.
Why Do You Need Idea Management Software?
You need to consider why you want people to share ideas, and whether that is in a specific area of operation. If you want to gather ideas, you will have implement some as well. So, before you install your software, there are a few things to consider, such as:
- What do you want ideas about?
- Why do you want new ideas?
- Is there a deadline to consider?
- What will you do with successful ideas, and how will you recognize the contributors?
- What do you do with the unsuccessful ideas?
- How do you prioritize ideas and who is involved in that?
How Do You Want People to Submit Ideas?
Once you have the above organized, you need to make sure that you give people the opportunity to submit their ideas. Some idea management software packages allow access to employees so that they can submit things. You could also consider using a letterbox. Either way, you have to consider what works for all your employees. For instance, if you have remote workers or field workers, you need to come up with a way for them to also share their thoughts.
How Often Do You Check the Ideas?
Once people start to submit ideas, you need to review them and prioritize them as well. You need to get rid of old ideas and identify which ideas are not going to work anyway. This will enable you to really focus on the good things. You can, with good idea management software, create your personal views, which can then link to ideas that others have raised. If those ideas meet specific elements, then they can be prioritized and become visible. You may, however, want to share those elements with your staff as well.
How Do You Turn Ideas into Reality?
Once you have picked the ideas that are worth implementing, you have to consider how you will actually do that.
Idea management has a strong psychological effect on your staff. People invest their energy into sharing their thoughts, and this can be truly invaluable for the organization as a whole. You need to consider, as well, how people will be affected if they do not become involved, for instance if they have submitted an idea that doesn’t get used. This could create bad energy and conflict, which is very damaging to the organization as a whole.