One of the most common reasons why Collaborative Innovation programs are terminated is the failure to execute the collected ideas. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with the fact that you are not executing all of the collected ideas (that would be crazy!?), but sometimes they are just left hanging without any feedback or perspective. Asking people for ideas but leaving them in the fridge is a major engagement killer and will simply cost you your most engaged participants.

Almost always you will hear various “good” reasons why this has happened. We are convinced that most of these reasons can be perfectly counteracted. That is exactly why we have crafted a variety of “Innovation Elixirs” that help organisations prevent common engagement killers from happening.

Today we are introducing you to our Innovation Elixir – Create Prototype-Ready ideas – a mix of the Yambla Innovation Management platform and the services of THINK with people. With this elixir we want to tackle the above mentioned threat for your Collaborative Innovation program with the following 3-step approach:

  • Setting the Right Innovation Focus: Determining the focus
  • From Focus to Involvement: Helping business owners to find the right ideas by involving and enabling the right people in online (or hybrid) innovation challenges.
  • Turning Ideas into Impact: Supporting the collected ideas to reach their maximum potential.

Setting the right Innovation Focus

Defining the general focus and engaging people in the innovation challenges (and/or opportunities) of the organisation that is one of the strengths of THINK with people.

  1. Understanding Company Objectives: The first step is to thoroughly understand the client’s business objectives, challenges, and vision for the future. THINK with people engages in in-depth discussions with key stakeholders, conduct interviews, and review relevant documents to gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization.
  2. Assess Current Innovation Capabilities: An evaluation of the organization’s existing innovation practices, culture, and processes. This assessment helps identify strengths and areas that need improvement, providing a foundation for designing a tailored innovation strategy.
  3. Identify Innovation Opportunities and Challenges: Through workshops, brainstorming sessions, and market research, Think with people can identify innovation opportunities that align with the company’s strategic objectives. These opportunities may include new product ideas, process improvements, business model innovations, or market expansion strategies.

From Focus To Involvement

  1. Inspiration: Inspiring stories are gathered and written and shared with the innovation community. The Yambla platform is used to make this inspiring content accessible. The platform is used to foster interaction and spark discussion. By facilitating easy access to relevant information we fuel creative thinking and idea generation.
  2. Involvement: As the well-crafted innovation topics / innovation challenges are made available on the Yambla platform, employees from various departments are engaged to participate and contribute with their ideas. This approach fosters a culture of inclusivity and diverse perspectives. The idea management platform plays a crucial role here, as it allows for real-time collaboration and idea sharing, but it also allows for feedback and constructive dialogue. Employees can submit their innovative concepts, comment on others’ ideas, and build upon existing proposals, creating a dynamic and interactive innovation ecosystem.
  3. Active Community Management: A community needs to be fuelled on a regular basis and that is where communication plays an essential role. Here are some examples:

    📢 Transparent & Accessible Communication
    Via the Idea Management Platform a transparent communication channel is established. Automatic (programmable) messages allow for timely check-ins and touching base with community members and active participants. By providing frequent updates, insights and inspirational stories we encourage everyone to stay informed and engaged.

    🕒 Timely Feedback and Acknowledgment
    To nurture a culture of idea sharing, the community manager provides timely feedback and acknowledgment to participants who submit their ideas. This recognition reinforces the value of individual contributions and motivates others to participate actively.

    💬 Facilitation of Discussions
    The platform facilitates interactive discussions and threaded conversations around specific ideas. Think with people’s community managers actively moderate and contribute to these discussions, steering the conversations toward constructive insights and encouraging participants to build upon one another’s ideas.

    🏁 Idea Challenges and Campaigns
    To focus efforts on specific innovation objectives, Think with people launches targeted idea challenges and campaigns within the platform. These initiatives rally participants around common themes, inspiring them to generate ideas that align with the organization’s current priorities.

    🎮 Gamification and Incentives
    To further drive engagement, the Yambla platform incorporates gamification elements, such as leaderboards or badges, that reward participants for their contributions. Additionally, they may offer incentives or recognition for exceptional ideas, fostering healthy competition and creativity. The community manager acts upon the data provided by these features (see Celebrating Successes).

    📅 Community Events and Webinars
    Think with people organizes virtual events and webinars within the platform, inviting thought leaders and subject matter experts to share insights and inspire the community. These events not only provide valuable knowledge but also facilitate networking and idea cross-pollination.

    ❓ Support and Guidance
    Community managers from Think with people actively engage with participants, providing support, answering questions, and guiding individuals through the ideation process. Their presence and guidance foster a sense of belonging and encourage participants to share their ideas confidently.

    🏆 Celebrating Successes
    When ideas lead to tangible outcomes or positive changes, Think with people celebrates these successes within the community. This practice reinforces the impact of innovation and reinforces the value of active participation.

Turning Ideas into Impact

Idea Clustering and Evaluation

Fostering idea clustering and evaluation is crucial for identifying the most promising ideas and maximizing their potential impact. In collaboration with Think with people we implement the following strategies to facilitate idea clustering and evaluation within the innovation ecosystem:

  1. Idea Categorization and Tagging: Participants are encouraged to categorize and tag their ideas based on themes, objectives, or target areas. This enables easy sorting and grouping of related ideas, promoting idea clustering.
  2. Collaborative Idea Workspaces: We create collaborative workspaces within the idea management platform where participants can collectively develop and refine ideas. This encourages idea clustering as contributors build upon each other’s suggestions and collaborate on shared concepts.
  3. Review Metrics and Success Indicators: Defining clear evaluation metrics and success indicators is crucial for the clustering and evaluation process. These metrics are established upfront and regularly iterated upon, facilitating comparisons and benchmarking of ideas based on their potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with strategic goals.
  4. Idea Voting and Ranking: We recommend a voting and ranking system within the platform that allows participants to express their support for the ideas they find most compelling. This process helps identify the most popular ideas and clusters that resonate with the majority.
  5. Idea Combining and Merging: The platform automatically encourages participants to explore opportunities for combining or merging related ideas. With the support of the community manager, stronger and more comprehensive concepts are formed, leveraging the strengths of multiple contributions.
  6. Expert Review and Feedback: Invite subject matter experts and industry specialists to review and provide feedback on the clustered ideas. Their insights can help evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of the ideas from a practical perspective.
  7. Idea Prioritization Sessions: Organize idea prioritization sessions or workshops with key stakeholders, where they collectively assess and rank clustered ideas based on their alignment with strategic objectives and potential return on investment.

Guidance via the Innovation Kit (Crafting prototype-ready ideas)

Physical Kit

A full do it yourself kit, both on- and offline, including three online coaching sessions that will allow you to transform your idea into pitch-able concept with a sustainable business plan .

  • 6-step guided process with on- and offline tools
  • Test & online coaching session: Discover your building model
  • Online coaching session: Define you story
  • Online coaching session: Build the perfect pitch

Digital Innovation Kit

We have turned the Physical Innovation Kit into an online version, including all the steps from the physical kit. Using the online version of the kit offers the following benefits:

  • Accessibility and Convenience
    An online platform allows users to access the innovation kit from anywhere with an internet connection. They can engage in the innovation process without the limitations of physical location or time zones, making it convenient for remote teams and participants.
  • Global Reach
    By going digital, the innovation platform can reach a broader audience worldwide. It enables organizations to engage with participants, employees, and collaborators from different regions, enhancing diversity in ideas and perspectives.
  • Real-time Collaboration
    The online version facilitates real-time collaboration, enabling participants to work together simultaneously on different aspects of the innovation process. This fosters more dynamic and interactive ideation and teamwork.
  • Instant Updates and Iterations
    This allows us to go faster and update the innovation kit more frequently, and instantly. This agility allows for faster iterations and improvements and allows us to tailor the kit better to specific needs.
  • Data Collection and Analytics
    With the online version we can gather data on user engagement, interactions, and innovation outcomes. These analytics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the kit.
  • Cost-effectiveness
    It’s just cheaper when you have a lot of ideas 🙂
  • Environmentally Friendly
    Going digital reduces the environmental impact associated with producing physical materials, contributing to sustainability efforts.
  • One stop shop & Rich Media Content
    The Online version includes inline multimedia elements like videos, animations, and interactive features that enhance the learning and ideation experience. This media can be engaging and effective in communicating complex concepts, can be easily updated and by offering this in one place, the focus is better kept.
  • Community Building and Networking
    An online platform can foster a community of innovation enthusiasts, bringing together like-minded individuals and professionals interested in collaborating on innovative projects.
  • Continuous learning: Additionally, the online platform promotes a culture of continuous learning among innovators, offering them valuable insights into various approaches and best practices as they can readily observe and draw inspiration from the work of others. This knowledge exchange cultivates a dynamic environment that fuels innovation through shared experiences and facilitates the refinement of strategies and methodologies for greater success.
  • Customization and Personalization: The online innovation kit can be easily customized to cater to different industries, innovation challenges, and user preferences. This flexibility allows organizations to tailor the platform to meet their specific needs.

Overall, the online version of the innovation kit opens up a world of possibilities for more inclusive, interactive, and data-driven innovation experiences. It empowers organizations and individuals to collaborate, create, and innovate more effectively in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

A fruitful campaign

Together with Think with people we have run a successful Innovation Challenge for BelOrta (a cooperative organization based in Belgium and one of the largest fruit and vegetable cooperatives in Europe.).

The goal of the initiative at BelOrta was to prepare for the future by involving every employee in a brainstorming exercise. The aim was to foster active participation and collaboration among the workforce, enabling them to collectively shape innovative strategies for the company’s future growth and success. By engaging all employees in the process, BelOrta sought to tap into the diverse perspectives and ideas within the organization, ensuring a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to planning for the future.

Read more about it here.