Selling Innovation Internally, Regardless of Your Audience

If you missed our extremely informative Google Hangout this week on Selling Innovation Management Inside Your Enterprise we have highlights to help you sort out your internal sales pitch. First, a quick hat tip to our panelists who all work at risk adverse companies but have succeeded in driving a culture of innovation. Their advice is summarized in the mashup that follows: Gary Hasty, Director of Innovation & Strategy, AT&T Valerie Lancelle, VP of Enterprise Innovation, US Bank Laurent Benichou, Director of Innovation & Foresight, AXA When it comes to selling innovation internally, the struggle is two-fold: Demonstrating value to the C-suite Getting employees on board as participants So let’s start with the big guys (and gals) first – how do you get on the radar of the decision-makers who are ultimately in charge of the ongoing budget you will/won’t get? Creating a sense of urgency is key – and what better way to do that than speak to the great idea you all had last year that was never implemented (but may have been by your competitor). Or by sharing stories about other industries where folks have been disrupted because they failed to innovate (there are many). And encouraging friendly competition between departments never hurts. Much. Another great way to do this that Laurent of AXA shared is to start off with a Challenge and share the results. This helps people feel the potential of more successes. Once you’ve obtained a budget to seed a trial run, select a challenge that speaks very specifically to the pain points your business is facing. And solicit ideas to solve it....
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...

These Innovation Program Successes Can Be Yours

Brightidea has helped enable powerful companies to distinguish themselves from competitors within their respective industries. Brightidea customers shared their unique success stories using Brightidea’s innovation program software in a series of case studies. These include Adobe, BT, Cisco, CLP, GE, Mentor Graphics and Prodigy. Some highlights from the thriving innovation programs are outlined below: BT Group is a world reknowned provider in communications solutions, with over 100,000 employees stretching across 170 countries. In the past, they’ve had trouble communicating amongst their diverse and scattered group of employees, which is why they decided to implement Brightidea’s innovation program software. They used the software to create a Rewards Shop, awarding employees whose ideas were implemented with 10% of the idea’s bottom line benefits of the first year performance. By providing an incentive of this scale across a massive organization, it drew in over 10,000 creative new ideas. John Nevins, Head of Innovation Consulting at BT, said: The greatest asset BT has is its people. Our role is to provide a mechanism for BT people to express their ingenuity, and the New Ideas Scheme has been instrumental to achieving that goal. The crowdsourcing project ultimately resulted in cost savings and new revenue generated in excess of over $100 million. Read further into this case study here. Cisco is a worldwide networking and communications technology provider who is committed to serving global key markets, especially Europe, with their innovative initiatives. To greater highlight the importance of the European region, Cisco decided to utilize Brightidea software to create an innovation program to effectively crowdsource and harness their employee’s creativity. The leader of Cisco innovation...
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...

GE, PwC and SAP Share the Predictors of Success for Your Innovation Program

Innovation isn’t something you master overnight. To help accelerate your innovation program success, Brightidea asked marquis innovation program experts from GE, PwC and SAP to share best practices for innovation program leaders to replicate and utilize within their own organizations. Our panelists from these world renowned innovation powerhouses were: Dyan Finkhousen: Director, Open Innovation & Advanced Manufacturing at GE John Sviokla: Strategy & Innovation Leader, Head of Global Thought Leadership at PwC Kuhan Milroy: Senior Director of Social Business Innovation at SAP What’s a better way to learn innovation than to hear it directly from the experts? The highlights shared by our knowledgeable panel on Brightidea’s Innovation Program: The Predictors of Success webinar hangout are included below. Though these companies have all ultimately found success through their innovation programs, each has had its own unique experiences along the way. Highlights: Kuhan of SAP shared that when ramping up his innovation program, he focused on first “partnering up with the folks who say ‘you had me at hello’ because “they’re the easiest to bring on as early adopters.” Along with the initial thrill of ramping up an innovation program, each panelist mentioned strongly the idea of failure and what implications it has within a growing, innovative company. Businesses must define expectations for failure and not dwell on it, utilizing it as a positive move forward. Dyan of GE commented on this saying, “The appetite or comfort with failing and learning lessons needs to be there for innovation to really prosper in an organization.” The panelists discussed the importance of culture, organization and process in relation to their individual innovation programs....

Get ‘Inno-spired’ by Our Forrester ‘Innovation Trends to Watch’ Webinar

Genius may be “one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” according to Thomas Edison, but that one percent can be the difference between taking action now and waiting. And when it comes to innovation these days, waiting is the wrong move – because it gives your competitors that much more time to disrupt the space and send you reeling. Successful enterprises have always known they need to continuously reinvent themselves to meet the demands of new generations of customers, but it’s even more important now as the manufacturing, distribution, and information ages have given way to the current Age of the Customer. Keeping up with trends and expectations is no easy task, and innovation must be a constant goal. To keep the inspiration happening we recently hosted a webinar on Innovation Trends to Watch and Inspire You featuring Chip Gliedman, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Gliedman’s IT background helps him serve CIOs using research focused on “IT investment strategies, innovation, justifying technology investments, business technology alignment, and IT satisfaction. He is a frequent speaker on innovation for Forrester. On our webinar he shared innovation trends in a way that will inspire you to act. Here’s just some of what he shared: How to explore current innovation trends and decide on actions How to exploit market opportunities to create business value How to maximize profits by perfecting innovation processes The questions to ask for specific innovation goals, whether product, process, organizational and market How to use sustained innovation to avoid disruption Common barriers to innovation What skills to sharpen for innovation success Benefits of open or “collaborative”...