Brightidea Announces 2017 Innovation Award Winners

Brightidea Announces 2017 Innovation Award Winners
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Brightidea customers are accomplishing some pretty amazing things in their innovation programs—and if it weren’t for them, neither our company nor our industry-leading platform would be where they are today. Every year, we recognize the highest-achieving customers at the Brightidea Innovation Awards, announced at Synthesize, our annual user conference. At this year’s event, held last week at the iconic San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, our new VP of Sales, Cameron Ackbury presented awards to six of them: Bobcat, Quicken Loans, Allstate, US Bank, GE Additive and GE Genius Link. We’re proud to honor these innovation program managers as the best in the world!

Key to a successful program is employee engagement—but achieving it isn’t easy. It often takes a good deal of creativity. Knowing this, some customers have done some interesting things to promote their innovation programs. We recently polled Brightidea employees to ask them which customer they felt had the most creative promotion of a program. The handful of nominees all had their own unusual spin on getting employees involved. But who would have thought of installing an old style of British phone booth at a customer worksite, whose sole purpose is to give employees a dedicated space to submit ideas into the Brightidea platform? Doing exactly that was the team at Bobcat, who took home the award for this category. We at Brightidea thought this ‘idea booth’ was clever, inventive, and a great way to boost employee engagement!

Brightidea Synthesize Awards Bobcat

Jennifer Saari of Bobcat took home the innovation award for most creative promotion of an innovation program. Great job, Bobcat!

Once a company’s innovation team begins to engage its employees, oftentimes the real challenge is sustaining it. And so the winner for highest sustained engagement was the customer with the highest percentage of continued active users on a monthly basis, relative to its total company size: Quicken Loans. This customer succeeded in engaging an average of 33 percent of their total workforce, during every month of the past year. For a company with over 16,000 employees, that’s certainly a feat!

Synthesize Awards Quicken Loans

Noell Sample of Quicken Loans won two innovation awards this year: highest sustained engagement and largest recorded qualitative impact. Way to go, Quicken Loans!

But even with the sustained engagement that helps to generate ideas, there are almost always challenges that come up in fully developing them. In this sometimes long and arduous process, we’ve observed how diligently our customers work to push their ideas to the finish line. To find the winner for the most effective program, we looked at which customers drove the most of their ideas to ‘Completed’ status changes over the past year. For accomplishing that with 23 percent of their total pipeline ideas, Allstate took home the award in this category. (Since the team at Allstate was unable to attend Synthesize, accepting the award on their behalf was Allstate’s account manager, Rod O’Conner.)

Brightidea Synthesize Awards Allstate

On behalf of Allstate, Brightidea’s own Rod O’Conner accepted the award for most effective program. Awesome job, Allstate!

Like any investment portfolio, the key to successful innovation lies in its diversity. We’ve found that among our customers’ programs, those with the most diversity tend to have more successful outcomes and are more likely to bring those innovations to market. And so, out of all the initiatives launched this year, we looked at how many different app types were launched by individual customers to find the winner for most diversified program. One customer in particular launched a total of six different app types—the highest this year: Discuss, Hackathon, Monitor, Optimize, Solve, and Suggest. For that impressive feat, the award went to US Bank.

Brightidea Synthesize Awards U.S. Bank

Russ Gowda of US Bank accepted the innovation award for most diversified program. Impressive feat, US Bank!

Oftentimes, though, some of the most significant innovation team accomplishments aren’t easily measured in numbers. Nevertheless, many of our customers have made dramatic improvements to their company culture, including boosting employee engagement, but also with such things as increasing customer satisfaction. One customer surpassed all others by a landslide, recording over 750 individual qualitative outcomes in the last year. That’s an average of two per day for the whole year! Taking home the award—now its second!—for largest recorded qualitative impact was the team at Quicken Loans.

Rounding out the awards presentation at this year’s Synthesize was our recognition for what might be the most impressive achievement. Because maximizing ROI is such a critical factor in the success of any corporate innovation program, we looked for which customer documented the most financial impact to their business over the past year. The winning team has been truly remarkable with what they’ve accomplished, recording a projected value in the last year of over $2.2 billion—yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’! Not only are we thrilled to recognize this the innovation team and its sponsor, but we’re immensely grateful to work with them. Presented the award for largest recorded financial impact were GE Additive and the GE Genius Link Program.

Brightidea Synthesize Awards GE

Denise Litter and Josh Mook of GE Additive and Lisa Ralph of GE Genius Link took home the innovation award for largest recorded financial impact: $2.2 billion in projected value. Amazing accomplishment, GE!

Congratulations to all the winners of our 2017 Innovation Awards. These achievements make you the year’s best innovation program managers in the world! Keep up your amazing work—we can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for the coming year!