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Part 2: Idea Management is Dead, Long Live Idea Management

In past years, Idea Management was a hype. Companies bought idea
management systems in hopes that the Holy Grail will be delivered via the idea
management system. A good idea? Yes. But in reality, the following hiccups
occur in most of the companies:

  • The idea management process is very slow in moving
    forward
  • The responsible idea manager can´t really give
    an opinion on what is a good idea and what not
  • Too many ideas can´t be handled with the limited
    resources (capacity)
  • When a good idea surfaces, budget is still a
    discussion topic
  • People are not motivated to submit ideas
  • More than one process and system is in place

So the question is “What shall we do with the idea management system?”

Burn it, uninstall it, or should we just learn to use it in the right
way?

Allow me to highlight an example from Ericsson that has impressed me.

 

Once upon a time…

  • Ericsson used “normal” idea management process
  • After the global rollout, the inbox of the idea
    management system was over flowing with ideas
  • Every country used its own process
  • No clear decision process and no process
    transparency existed
  • Over time, the employees were not motivated
    anymore

So how was it changed?

Ericsson used an approach which was completely different.

  • They developed a virtual collection point for
    one specific topic.
  • Any employee who recognizes in his field a
    current need for innovation and also has the resources, can open such an
    virtual collection point – so the owner becomes the Innovation Manager for
    exactly this problem
  • Every employee can access this collection point
    and can submit concepts and ideas
  • If there is a similar idea out there,  the people will be connected and can work on
    the idea together
  • Every employee can read other peoples’ ideas
    while also scoring them , adding content, and commenting.

So, if the right process is in place – one which gives the general
conditions and has free space for creativity – then innovation will take indeed
happen in a natural way.

To wrap things up, watch this very interesting
video:

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