How to Host a Successful Hackathon

How to Host a Successful Hackathon

All forward-thinking companies are focused on innovation – but successful innovation isn’t something that just happens. It’s pursued, intentionally, with great focus, by the right people making the right decisions based on any number of variables along the way. Those “right people” include both internal and external stakeholders whose subject matter expertise and creative vision allows them to harness the brainpower of everyone else around them – keeping lines of communication open so all can participate, while wrangling idea management for maximum efficiency. If an overall culture of innovation isn’t something your company has been focused on in the past, one of the best ways to debut your innovation program and get others quickly on board is by hosting a hackathon – a marathon brainstorming event where teams of participants work together to solve company challenges. But it’s not something you can just throw together. There are a lot of moving parts to deal with – especially if this is your first hackathon. To make it easier Brightidea has compiled a list to make your hackathon a success. The Planning Stages Brightidea has found that a minimum of 30 days is needed to get your hackathon planned successfully. First, the basics: Goal – Before you can do anything, you need to know what you hope to accomplish with your hackathon. It should be in line with the company’s overall goals. Time – Choose a date that doesn’t conflict with other company events, so anyone who wants to be involved can be. Saturdays are best for single-day hackathons, and Fridays are ideal for overnight events. Location – An outside venue...
Idea Management: 5 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Idea Management: 5 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Having worked with some of the world’s most innovative companies over the past 15 years, Brightidea has seen where idea management can come up short. The ability to crowdsource ideas from your employees, customers, and others can be a powerful tool to stimulate innovation – if done right. But too often, companies fail to achieve the promise of collaborative innovation. To help you beat those odds, here are 5 common mistakes that typically plague idea management processes – and how you can avoid them: 1. Going It Alone One of the biggest mistakes occurs when an innovation team kicks off their program without the appropriate buy-in and sponsorship. This typically dooms your program to failure from the outset. Why? Because without top-down executive endorsement that ties the program to corporate objectives and a strong voice within the business excited to take action on the best ideas, the program will quickly lose momentum and only deliver a database of aging ideas. Employees won’t value it as part of their day job and participation will be poor. Remedy: You need both strong executive sponsorship and strong business unit sponsorship to build and maintain excitement around the innovation program, the targeted innovation topics and the idea management process. This will set the program up for success from the beginning and ensure ongoing, inspired employee participation. 2. Focusing on the Front End Many companies start off their collaborative innovation program thinking only about the “idea gathering” phase of idea management, and fail to consider the complete “end-to-end” process. They make a big marketing push to get their employees to submit ideas, which they...

Innovation, the New Competitive Equation

Brightidea partnered with BPI in creating a highly informative innovation study, Innovation – The New Competitive Equation, which examines innovation strategies and roadblocks in today’s society. The study is full of statistical analysis, case studies, and best practices from top innovation executives. Brightidea’s powerful customers Dell, Nielson, and Cisco were highlighted in the study as well, with strong statistics proving their thriving innovation programs using Brightidea. How could you better encourage innovation in your organization? This was one question in the study. Companies ponder this every day when attempting to ramp up a successful program. The results in the study reflected that companies are at varied stages of their innovation journey. In fact, 44% answered that they need to create a formalized process for evaluating and rewarding innovation up and down the organization. And 40% recommended to fast-track a structured program of “intrapreneurship” for top innovation talents on the team. Crowdsourcing within innovation programs has become a popular tactic, expanding creativity outside of just one designated team of thinkers. In the study, to determine if this tactic is widely effective, customers were asked how do you rate the effectiveness of crowd-sourced innovation programs? See the results below. The use of innovation platforms is growing yet the ability to measure outcomes and success is a challenge. Take a look at this study Innovation – The New Competitive Equation and review the current results for yourself, comparing them to your own innovative efforts. Brightidea provides the world’s leading innovation program software, please contact us if you’d like to accelerate your own program! Please feel free to leave comments below....
How To Make Better Innovation Choices In Q2

How To Make Better Innovation Choices In Q2

The first quarter of 2015 is over and you might be feeling a befuddled as your innovation efforts aren’t taking off as you’d planned. Fear not, this series of thought leadership articles will help you reframe the discussion at your organization. We’ve shared a few introductory posts to help organize your thinking, and then focus on specifics that will breathe new life into your efforts. The topics share the best articles (as voted by Brightidea in Q1 2015) on best practices and emerging trends from innovation leaders and Fortune 500 firms. Keep a notebook (or a mobile device) handy as you read, and when you’re finished reading, be sure to reach out with your questions. Enjoy! 1. 5 Ways to get Ready for Innovation in 2015: If you aren’t ready for innovation, consider this post your orientation to what awaits. The steps listed will help you focus your efforts, channel all that creative energy and feel sure of yourself as you set off on your own innovation path! 2. IBM Institute for Business Value: More than Magic: How do the most successful organizations innovate? IBM surveyed more than 1,000 C-suite executives from across the world to gather specific practices and find out where they think innovation is headed. If this doesn’t get kick your planning process into overdrive, nothing will! 3. 5 Ways Managers Stifle Innovation: Many companies today are unknowingly stifling innovative thinking, and that needs to change – fast. Do any of these five behaviors listed sound familiar? If so, the tips at the end around unlocking innovation will be VERY helpful. 4. Chief Innovation Officers Need...

If You Want To Unleash Innovation, You Need To Put Your Community to Work

Your enterprise might be ready to innovate, but is it stuck in a perpetual “ready to innovate” loop? If so, it’s time to take action. And our recent webinar, with Jim Lundy, CEO and Lead Analyst of Aragon Research, offers lots of insight around how to move forward – and why. Lots of organizations are ready to innovate, and can’t understand why they’re being disrupted by competitors – especially when they know they have a superior product or service. The reason why this happens is simple – and preventable: They were MORE ready to innovate than you. They approached innovation in an organized way and that allowed them to bring their ideas to market ahead of your team. We had 68% of webinar attendees who said their management considers innovation as critical to the success of their business. This is a growing #. Jim shared Aragon Research’s 2015 Technology ARC diagram representing companies less than 5 years old. Innovation Management is a top priority. He commented that “companies need a pragmatic approach to help them get in front of the tidal wave of change” and “companies need to have tools to allow them to manage innovation”. The webinar discusses how to beat your competition the next time around (or get out there first if they haven’t bested you yet!): outthink the competition and identify the next big thing by developing a community and corporate culture of innovation! But how can you do that, specifically? Well, we cover that in detail in the webinar, including: How Innovation Management Programs and other technologies are giving enterprises an edge Key innovation and...
2015 CFO Sentiment Study – Growing Importance of Innovation to CFO’s

2015 CFO Sentiment Study – Growing Importance of Innovation to CFO’s

Each year the CFO Alliance conducts a CFO Sentiment Study, providing exclusive insight and measurable statistics that are critical to the strategic planning and financial outlook of CFO’s across the United States. The best practices and statistics shared in this study will help companies identify challenges and ways to move forward and innovate in 2015. The CFO Alliance is comprised of senior financial leaders and decision makers, spanning a wide range of industry groups, company sizes, and geographies. The survey data comes from more than 600 responses solicited from financial leaders in private industries and also public and non-profit sectors. The results of the study speak to positive expectations for the US economy in 2015, and specific business industries. Other revelations include: Projected spending increases to keep pace with technological advancements and innovation trends, more specifically increases will be seen in employee wages and benefits, data security and cloud computing, social media marketing, and primarily in hardware and software purchases. In addition to spending, 95% of those surveyed agreed that organizations must encourage communication and create a culture of innovation moving forward to successfully achieve objectives. Collaboration between the CFO and marketing will be essential, as 61.5% said their marketing initiatives will be the number one factor impacting their company’s success in 2015. The leadership role of the CFO is changing too, with the value of being “social” taking precedence and projected to have positive implications this year. Along with this new “social” role CFOs should pay close attention to the importance of customer engagement and human capital optimization goals as well. The role of the CFO is continually...