It was back in February that I last attended an IBF broadcast and wrote the blog post "The Garden: Inside an Award Winning Intranet", so it was with great pleasure that I tuned in again this week to learn about the implementation of innovation and ideation through a company intranet.
Vincent Carbone, Founder and COO of Brightidea is an excellent speaker. I was furiously typing notes as he spoke about how the use of an ideation platform can produce process improvements that save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the return on investment includes intangible secondary benefits of boosting employee morale and satisfaction.
The reality is in our world today, digital data and rapid technology growth has forced companies to define a new competitive edge through innovation and creative ideas. Fortune 500 companies are turning inward to their employees, encouraging participation and discussion around not only creating the germ of a new idea but adopting a more formalized approach for the movement of ideas through collaboration and gamification.
HP's intranet The Garage hosts InnoStream, a collaborative innovation environment that recognizes an idea might start one way, but then it will morph and evolve through discussions and process. HP's company DNA is infused with innovation. They hard wire their culture for it.
InnoStream includes an award system called InnoMiles. Contributors of ideas are awarded miles:
Accumulative miles are then traded in for rewards. The process for idea collection looks like this:
Roy Edery is the VP of Information Systems Operations at IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. They employee over 2,000 physicians practicing medicine in 900 hospitals spread across 25 states. Not surprisingly, IT's challenge is communication and ensuring technology is easy to use.
Roy has a home-grown application called IPC-Link Billing that is accessed through their virtual office (aka intranet: also home-grown). The system includes patient lists, handoffs, and helps physicians to manage their patient's hospital stays.
At the top of every page in IPC there is a button called UserVoice. This is their user feedback tool that allows the physicians to make suggestions on how to make the IPC system more user-friendly. Once a user makes a suggestion, it goes to IT to validate the idea and then it is categorized as under review. All under review items are automatically posted to a Yammer feed, where other users can click to view the feedback, vote thumbs up and comment. Yammer is used as a social layer to surface the feedback from the ideation application. Kind of like a "what's new" feed.
The process is working. It has generated fixes, enhancements and improved workflows for the IPC system, including taking a 10 step process to select a diagnosis and cutting it down to 3 steps. Stats show that 50% of physicians have logged into UserVoice at least once. 10% of them are active and 5% generate 80% of the ideas and feedback.
Vincent Carbone indicated in his presentation that the #2 reason people leave their jobs is because they feel the company does not hear their ideas. The #1 reason is money, although for some employees culture and engagement can often trump the money.
There is no question utilizing an idea / feedback application on your intranet helps the process of ideation and can be leveraged for all sorts of soft ROI.
Can I do this with Intranet Connections?
You bet you can. We have an application for the collection and process of ideas and feedback. You have the option for turning on approvals, so all ideas are funnelled through a workflow before publication. An automatic feed will push the ideas to the intranet home page. Employees can vote, comment, and share the ideas through the social wall. You can tie in rewards through the Company Store.
Best of all, it's one of the simplest apps to implement and yet so much to gain.