Blog | Brightidea Transform the Way You Innovate Tue, 16 Jul 2024 21:20:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blog | Brightidea 32 32 Unlocking Innovation: Insights from McKinsey on How Top Companies Use Tech to Stay Ahead Tue, 18 Jun 2024 18:37:54 +0000 Reading Time: 4 minutes Summer Release 2024: Experience Summer Lovin' with Brightidea as we unveil exciting core upgrades and enhancements, streamlining your experience and empowering you to transform brilliant ideas into reality.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Battling the charter of tech transformation with company mobilization is a constant yo-yo for those in leadership positions. Layered on top of times of uncertainty – looming economic turbulence, upcoming elections, and rapidly accelerating technology, it can feel like the reins are slipping away.

A recent McKinsey article, “How Innovative Companies Leverage Tech to Outperform,” underscores the critical role of innovation currently and dissects the commonalities between companies that are succeeding.

The McKinsey article highlights key takeaways that resonate with our mission at Brightidea:

  • Innovation is a strategic imperative, not a luxury. Companies that prioritize innovation during downturns outperform their peers in the long run.
  • Companies with strong innovation cultures are more likely to succeed. Organizations with a strong innovation culture scaled the impact of their digital transformations twice as effectively as those with weaker cultures.
  • Technology is a game-changer. The right tools can empower your workforce, streamline processes, and maximize the ROI of your innovation efforts, offering more competitive advantages.
  • Operational models cannot stay stagnant. Companies unlock the most value from technology when it is applied to innovating their business model rather than focusing on disconnected use cases.

Brightidea Can Help Bring These Insights to Life

Brightidea’s innovation management software goes beyond simply being a platform; it’s a strategic partner in your organization’s innovation journey. Here’s how Brightidea empowers you to act on the insights presented by McKinsey:

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation
Brightidea fosters a culture of innovation by breaking down silos and encouraging participation from everyone in your organization. Our platform provides a central hub for idea submission, making it easy for employees to share their ideas, regardless of their department or level, and engage in their peers’ concepts.

With the Hackathon application, there are even more opportunities to break through the departmental silos and help cross-team and organizational collaboration through the Participants Finder and exploration tool. Participants can register with their expertise and mark if they want to recruit or join teams. We help facilitate conversations within the platform – and through our teams and Slack integrations.

This diverse influx of perspectives and participants fuels a richer innovation pipeline and fosters a sense of ownership within your workforce, the culture of innovation is a foundational brick to the success of a program.

Streamlining the Innovation Pipeline
Gone are the days of scattered ideas and inefficient processes. Brightidea offers a centralized platform for the entire innovation lifecycle. From initial ideation to development and implementation. We work to streamline all collaboration and communication between team members, administrators, and those parts of the evaluation process.

Submitted ideas are properly vetted, refined, and progressed through the proper stages, maximizing their potential for success.

Data-Driven Decision Making
Effective innovation isn’t just about generating great ideas; it’s about identifying and nurturing the ones with the most significant impact. Brightidea empowers you to measure and analyze your innovation efforts. Our platform tracks the progress of ideas, captures feedback, and offers valuable data insights. Ensuring you prioritize the right ideas based on strategic fit, potential impact, and feasibility, ensuring your resources are directed towards the initiatives with the greatest chance of success.

By leveraging Brightidea’s comprehensive capabilities, you can:

  • Move Beyond Brainstorming: Brightidea goes beyond the initial spark of inspiration. Our platform facilitates collaboration and refinement, transforming raw ideas into actionable plans.
  • Balance Short-Term Wins with Long-Term Bets: Not all innovation is created equal. Brightidea helps you manage a healthy mix of incremental improvements and disruptive, game-changing ideas. Our platform allows you to nurture both types of innovation, ensuring a steady stream of success stories while also positioning yourself for future breakthroughs. 
  • Drive Measurable Results: Innovation shouldn’t be a black box. Brightidea empowers you to track the progress of your ideas, measure their impact, and gain valuable insights to continuously improve your innovation efforts.

Embrace Innovation and Secure Your Competitive Edge
In today’s dynamic business landscape, innovation is no longer optional. It is just too important to be left to chance.

It’s the key to unlocking growth potential and securing a competitive edge. By prioritizing innovation, that means you need to prioritize a tech stack that will help you win. By leveraging the power of Brightidea’s innovation management software, you can transform your organization into an engine of creativity, turning groundbreaking ideas into real-world results.

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Summer Release 2024: Summer Lovin’ Tue, 11 Jun 2024 22:39:36 +0000 Reading Time: 4 minutes Summer Release 2024: Experience Summer Lovin' with Brightidea as we unveil exciting core upgrades and enhancements, streamlining your experience and empowering you to transform brilliant ideas into reality.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

The sun is shining, the days are hotter, and the feeling of Summer Lovin’ is in the air. Here at Brightidea, we’re not just talking about beach volleyball and backyard barbecues (although those sound pretty amazing too). This summer, we’re celebrating that deep kind of love – the love we have for our amazing customers and the incredible ideas you bring to the table.

We’ve been listening closely to your feedback, and we’re thrilled to unveil a wave of exciting, core upgrades and fixes designed to make your Brightidea experience even smoother. From streamlining your core platform to enhancing workflow and initiative management, these enhancements are all about empowering you to capture those brilliant ideas and turn them into reality. So, get ready to dive into some Summer Lovin’ with Brightidea by your side!

Summer Lovin’, Happened So Fast…

We worked to deliver core configuration updates, requested directly from our customers to ensure you are getting the most efficient use out of the platform. This work includes:

  • Ability to add groups as evaluators to more nimbly manage action item assignment (CER-26557, CER-26556).
  • All initiative exports now have the ability to be scheduled, delivered within a custom time that works for the site administrator (CER-26263).
  • Addition of Whiteboard and Memo counts to the user activity report (CER-24739).
  • Ability to search for text within your Whiteboard to help with wayfinding and information organization.
  • Closed just under 100 customer support tickets since our last release.

Tell Me More, Tell Me More…

The Project Room feature delivers against the need for teams to collaborate in order to augment, track, and better define an idea. With this release we continue to evolve the offering based on direct customer feedback.

  • Can now add a team image to the project room to better identify and rally your team on the Project Room goal.
  • Ability to sort and filter all of your team’s tasks within the Project Room’s task page (CER-26506).
  • When adding a new Whiteboard or Memo to the project room, can generate from system or custom templates.

Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum-dum-dum…

In our Spring release, we launched core updates to our Hackathon app to ensure that you’re delivering a successful event the first time, and every time. With this release, we wanted to add deeper customization to the features your teams have adopted and are asking for.

  • Updated our default Project Room template that is spun up for Hackathon teams’ utilizing the tool to brainstorm and mature their idea.
  • Added the ability for Hackathon event managers to customize the Project Room template that is used.
  • Updated the Phase widget to honor the timezone set by the administrator within System Settings.

But, Oh Those Summer Nights

We hope this summer sizzle of updates empowers you to turn up the heat on innovation within your organization. We’re excited to see the amazing things you create with Brightidea by your side.

Stay bright,
Your friends at Brightidea

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Spring 2024: Hackathon 4 Wed, 13 Mar 2024 03:28:33 +0000 Reading Time: 6 minutes Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Spring Ahead With Hackathon 4

As winter relinquishes its icy grip, we observe with delight, as new blossoms and life break through the snow. Every year at this time we rejoice in this cycle or rebirth and rejuvenation. If innovation were a season, it would definitely be Spring.

This release, we look to harness that feeling of anew, and bring to you several platform wide updates, as well as a focus on our Brightidea Hackathon solution.

This past year, our Hackathon solution has empowered companies, and we have seen an exponential growth in its utilization. We see one new event launched every four days, with more than 150,000 sessions around the world.

Now, we’re thrilled to unveil a refreshed offering designed to streamline your process, boost engagement, and unlock even greater potential, plus some goodies within our core configurations.

Our Expert Coaches Guide You from Start to Finish

Our team dove deep into our Hackathon offering, developing an enhanced point of view around running a successful, world class Hackathon. Through external research and customer insights, we have developed new assets and guides for our clients to use as a framework for success.

  • New and improved Hackathon playbook, which you can find within our apps pillar in the product as well as our updated Knowledge Base Article.
  • A detailed Hackathon wiki offering best practices and key activities needed to drive external or internal Hackathons.
  • Updated engagement structure for pulling the Professional Services team into the event to help advise, collaborate, or guide your teams.

Self-Guided Participant Onboarding

Team building and making the right connections can unlock not only the success of a project, but also help scale the event across the organization. Some critical updates:

  • Created an in-depth onboarding flow that guides the user through the event registration, surfacing the most valuable tools to them based on their use case. This includes access to Project Room, teammate search, etc.
  • Created a holistic participant page where users can search and recruit teammates by expertise, certifications, availability, etc.
  • Enhanced application process lets participants apply to specific teams, and existing members can accept, reject and message those prospects.

Custom Evaluator Ordering and Navigation

Hackathon judges will often be executive, c-suite members or external partners who do not regularly login to system, which means administrators are carrying the burden of logging them in, guiding them to the right action item, and monitoring for completion. Well, we heard you and we now have updated features to help.

  • Admins can manually update the order of projects, which will be reflected on all action item manage and completion pages.
  • Introduced the ability to send an ad hoc email to the evaluators to quickly remind them of the action item location and actions they may need to take.
  • Added main navigation links to direct judges to their open action items. Also have the ability for admins to copy the link and send directly to the evaluators.

Tools & Techniques for Admins

Forget time-consuming configuration. Our platform is now prepped to launch a successful Hackathon out of the box.

  • Updated the default configuration. This includes more direct statuses, a recommended template for the use of categories, and more defined steps and stages to allude to multiple rounds of evaluations.
  • Experience a streamlined event-focused design with our new Hackathon event site view. Inspired by our intuitive Memo and Idea Box interfaces, it ensures participants and evaluators get straight to the action, ideal for departmental Hackathons with defined scope and event phases.
  • Enabled View Idea 3 as the default record view for some of our most utilized apps; Idea Box, Memo, Gig, Hackathon.

Additional Brightidea Innovation Cloud Updates

Our team has worked diligently in bringing upgrades across the platform to ease usability across our entire toolset. This includes:

  • Updates to our submission form, including the ability to invite users to register directly from the teammate field, as well as the ability to add a Whiteboard directly onto your submission.
  • Multiple Project Room updates to support management of your teams and ideas, including automating the creation via the rules engine.
  • Continuous improvement to our Rich Text/HTML 2.0 widget, including the support of HTML5 tags.

Our Work Continues…

In this ever-evolving landscape of innovation, we wish you continued growth and the realization of your full potential.

And just know, we are right there with you, already hard at work synthesizing even more exciting features for the Summer and Fall releases, so stay tuned. We can’t wait to share what’s next on the horizon, just through the clouds. ☁

Stay Bright,
The Brightidea team

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Winter Release 2023: Brighter Days Ahead Mon, 11 Dec 2023 17:56:26 +0000 Reading Time: 5 minutes Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the year draws to a close, a sense of quiet reflection settles over us. We’ve witnessed moments of immense hardship – technological shifts, social fractures, and economic uncertainties that tested our resilience.

Yet, amidst these trials, and during the holiday season, we ground ourselves in tradition, looking to reconnect with those we love. So, to our cherished customers and friends, we offer this handful of updates. May it bring a touch of ease to your days and a spark of joy to your hearts.

Togetherness: Team Updates for You and Them

It’s always better to have teammates when working toward goals, and well, we made sure to bring that over to our software with two new updates to our team submission capabilities.

The first update is teams can help brand their submissions with the new team name feature. When submitting or editing a team, those included can create a team name to be associated with the submission. This will then be displayed on the record or any preview of the record, as well as any exports for the initiative. (CER-16795)

The second is we have expanded the team size limit we have in our Hackathon app to all offerings. Now admins can set a specific limit to the count of people on a single submission. (CER-18804)

Connection: Project Room Continues to Evolve

Within our Fall 2023 release, we gave you Project Room. And we are seeing customers rapidly adopt this new tool to help drive collaboration and accountability within their teams. In ensuring teams have the right content and information all in one place we have added some exciting updates.

We brought the file management capabilities within Team Workspace over to our Project Room capabilities. Upload all of your files directly into the room to keep teammates and reference materials updated. (CER-26286)

We also improved the task functionality. Now you can add multiple ‘tasks’ pages to a single Project Room, mapping tasks to specific milestones throughout the project’s life cycle. And, in addition to user assignment, status, and date details per task, you can now add comments, allowing more async updates and the ability to track progress with more granularity. (CER-18676)

Tidying Up: Collaboration Just Keeps Getting Easier

Since our Whiteboard launch we have now seen more and more teams gather and bring their pipeline’s ideas into a more open, collaborative space.

To help your teams continue on the progress you will see several updates from us.

  • Our smart matrix, which comes with several templated x- and y-axis labels, now allows users to input a custom field so you can rank ideas on any variables needed. (Dare we say naughty vs nice) (CER-24764)
  • Whiteboards can now be added directly to a Record to help supplement and enhance your concepts. (CER-26248)
  • You can now add, edit, and remove links to any objects within the board. And remember, you can also copy a link to a direct location within the board to help teammates find relevant content. (CER-25392, CER-24735)
  • Simplified and updated toolbars and menu dropdowns to help you more efficiently access key, differentiating tools, such as our AI integration and pipeline connectivity.

Here’s to a brilliant 2024…🥂

We have good reasons to be optimistic about the coming year. Ceasefires glimmer on the horizon, economies show resilience and a sense of renewed civility is afoot. One thing is for certain though, change is coming; fueled by a relentless tide of technological progress.

We hope you’re setting ambitious goals for yourself and drafting more targeted and impactful objectives for your teams. We’re here to be your partner in progress, helping you unlock maximum value for your organization.

Brightidea’s future is brimming with excitement. We’re planning some powerful updates, key fixes, and groundbreaking capabilities that we hope will amaze and astound you. But before we dive into the new year, a word of immense gratitude. To our customers, friends, colleagues, and collaborators: you are the heart of Brightidea. Your faith and trust fuel our mission to save the world with the power of bright ideas. Thank you.

Until we meet again, stay bright, stay curious, and may the best ideas win.

The Brightidea Team ❤

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Fall Release 2023: Innovation For All Wed, 16 Aug 2023 16:05:38 +0000 Reading Time: 16 minutes Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

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Reading Time: 16 minutes

Innovation has the power to transform industries, disrupt markets, and change the world for the better. But too often, innovation is only accessible to a select few – those with the resources, connections, or expertise to bring their ideas to life.

We believe that innovation should be for all. By democratizing access to innovation, we can unlock the potential of people from all walks of life to solve problems, create new products and services, and drive progress in their organizations and communities.

We are proud to announce key updates to our innovation platform with this fall release, that empower and provide all the necessary tools to run a strong end-to-end innovation process.

Throughout the blog, review all our updates that will be rolling out continuously over the next month, and in addition, check out the conversation between Matt Greeley, CEO, and Katlin Arps, VP of Product, where they discuss the latest release updates and the current state of corporate innovation.

Innovation for All: A Conversation with Katlin Arps & Matt Greeley

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, even managers in traditional business functions like: HR, IT, and Finance are seeking out tools to help their teams be more innovative. This is the most significant shift in corporate innovation in over two decades. Tune in to this podcast to hear how we have updated Brightidea Innovation Cloud to address this shift and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

👇 Jump down to read specific updates 👇

Hackathon Logo Project Room Logo 2023 Stage Gate Logo Lockup Scout Logo Lockup Idea Box Logo

👇 Jump down to read specific updates 👇

Hackathon Logo Project Room Logo 2023 Stage Gate Logo Lockup Scout Logo Lockup Idea Box Logo

Integrated Updates to Drive Team Activation

Since the release of Whiteboard in the fall of 2021, we have watched the evolution of how clients are using the tool. Our Whiteboard tool captures the necessity of having all your activity in one place, integrated directly with your platform to better prioritize, rank, and collaborate in a meaningful way.

Feature updates include:

  • Integrated prioritization: You can now send unlimited ideas from your pipeline directly into either a stacks or stickies format. Backlog management has never been more flexible to support your team.
  • Role accountability: Within our stacks feature, you can now assign actions directly to teammates to better organize and check on progress.
  • Productivity tools: Addition of text based tables, that allow you the ability to export to excel. As well as image cropping capabilities.

miro to whiteboardWhen we say all in one place, we mean it… If you’re currently using Miro, reach out to your Customer Service rep to find out how you can use our [beta] importer tool to bring all your team’s content over, without missing a beat.

miro to whiteboardWhen we say all in one place, we mean it… If you’re currently using Miro, reach out to your Customer Service rep to find out how you can use our [beta] importer tool to bring all your team’s content over, without missing a beat.

Hackathon Logo

Our Most Loved App Just Got an Update

Over the last six months, we have witnessed more than a 300% increase in Hackathon participation within the platform. In response, we conducted interviews, learned from the feedback, and made some much-needed enhancements to better support this growing energy.

New features include:

  • Early registration: A join event flow to get an early head count on participants and gauge interest.
  • Team building: A new feature that allows Hackathon participants to find, apply, and join teams, as well as project leads to review and accept applicants.
  • Administrative control: The ability for admins to control team sizes for those participating.

Project Room Logo 2023

Project Room Offers Cross-Platform Organization

Project Room is a new feature that will be enabled for all systems. This robust enhancement is an evolution of our existing Team Workspace capabilities and solves the need to augment, track, and better define an idea within your pipeline.

Project Room key features include:

  • Team building: Invite team members across the organization to participate and collaborate with.
  • Consolidate assets across the platform: Ability to add Business Impact, Whiteboards, Memos, Ideas, and external links all within the space.
  • Project management and task tracking: Manage your projects and action items with ease. Within the task feature you can assign tasks to team members, track due dates, and monitor progress through status updates.

Stage Gate Logo Lockup

Stage Gate Process Now Embedded in Key Platform Workflows

The Stage Gate process is a methodology that improves project outcomes and prevents risk by adding gates, or areas for review, throughout your project plan. This framework is commonly used in innovation planning to increase performance, collaboration, and more thorough benchmarks to track progress.

Now, using the Project Room functionality as a foundation, pipelines can automatically integrate with the space to build out the methodology, integrated directly with our pipeline process.

Updates to the platform include:

  • Improvements to workflow: The ability to resend action items when a record re-enters a step, honoring any configuration updates that have been made.
  • Streamlined management: Integration with our step configuration to automatically assign stage completion and gate approvals.
  • Standard templates: A formatted process is automatically generated, capturing the key milestones and recommended assets included in the process. The templates also utilize Brightidea tools like Whiteboard forms and Memo.

Scout Logo Lockup

A New AI Assistant for Tech Scouting

New with this release is an AI integration within our Scout app. This allows admins to source ideas through AI and inject those responses directly into their pipeline to then monitor and track, ensuring teams are capturing all current startups and competitors in their market.

And reminder, with our previous release, we have key areas where AI is already within the platform including AI assist within the idea submission process, image generation, and in Whiteboard throughout team collaborative sessions.

Idea Box Logo

Dedicated Tools to Scale Through the Enterprise

We are introducing a new way to position the Idea Box app within your department by incorporating our team site view. This update provides the following benefits:

  • Security and access: Ability to siphon off access to key team members within various departments to help manage their innovation activities independently.
  • Structured, direct navigation: The UI has been updated to better highlight the most important aspects of managing and participating in an Idea Box challenge.
  • All-in-one pipeline management: Communities and sub-pipelines can be set up to route ideas based on their maturity, subject matter expertise, timing, and other factors.
  • Fine-tuned dashboards: Surfaces key site analytics to the entire team to define and understand success criteria and engagement.

Brightidea Innovation Cloud 3 Logo


Innovation within teams, organizations, and entire industries is a responsibility and honor to be shared by all. We aim to empower teams to stave off disruption and meet the opportunities that are realized through recent accelerations. It is everyone’s responsibility to drive forward, to push through the fear and the complexity. Because, simply stated, innovation is too important to be left to chance.

Stay Bright,
Brightidea team

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Summer Release 2023: Surf’s Up Wed, 14 Jun 2023 15:03:01 +0000 Reading Time: 7 minutes Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Shred the Waves of Disruption
9 Features, 3 Enhancements, 7 Upgrades


It looks like 2023 is shaping up to be an Endless Summer of disruption. In the past few months, we have seen world-shaking announcements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Healthcare, Energy, and Fintech/Crypto. And this is just a few of the 10 Disruptive Waves we highlighted for organizations to monitor back in 2018.

Forward-thinking innovation leaders are realizing that, “This is Our Time.” The world is catching up to what they’ve known all along – that technology continues to surge forward and is changing markets, customer behaviors, and expanding what’s possible.

To that end, this release is designed with our customers’ needs at the forefront. We’ve been hard at work, striving to provide you with the tools you need to not just ride, but master, the waves of disruption, because innovation is too important to be left to chance.

Better Tools to Help You Manage Your Pipeline

To help manage the surf, our team spent critical time and energy working on upgrading some of our core capabilities. These enhancements and updates span across our entire platform and include:

  • In the “Update Assignees…”modal, when removing evaluators that have open or completed action items, average scores will now be updated to reflect changes and action items will show as canceled, instead of deleted.
  • Updates to the designs for the edit and configuration modals for action items to better surface critical data.
  • An enhanced rule engine UI in addition to several new rule capabilities and conditions including, but not limited to, creating a new team workspace to events triggered from the stage the idea is in.
  • Ability to quickly duplicate steps allowing you to copy action item assignees, templates, due dates, notifications, and evaluation results. (CER25995) & (CER26092)
  • The ability to export site and system setting logs to track changes made by users and the date the changes were made.

Chips Voting: Support for Multiple Rounds

Chips and simple voting are great tools to engage your employee base, gather feedback, and track idea progress.

We have enhanced voting to allow for more of an iterative, continuous workflow. As an example, admins can now do a reset, which will reallocate the votes back to employees and remove all chips or votes from the individual records. When doing this, the system will retain a history of the original allocation, which will be available within the voting export.

This allows teams to consistently re-poll on end-user feedback, while not losing the historical context. (CER24886) & (CER19019)

AI: Even More Ways to Brainstorm & Develop Ideas

Brightidea is no stranger to AI and we have been utilizing the tech to fuel our Userhome recommendation engine and our Top Ideas meritology. And more recently, back in our fall release, we integrated OpenAI within our memo solution.

And we have not stopped yet. This release we are excited to continue to reveal opportunities to ensure that innovation has the best chance to thrive, using AI to enhance several key areas within our platform.

  • AI is now embedded in the submission form. Use it to help generate a description right from your title, build out the maturity of your idea, update grammar and spelling, and add a summary.
  • Utilize the companion AI within Whiteboard, by providing a specific prompt and task, then watch the ideas generate into stickies for your team to build off, interact with, score, and more.
  • And finally, we now have the ability to surface AI-generated images in the platform in common areas from the initiative homepage to idea record images. (CER24937)

Whiteboard: Create Custom Templates, Sharing, and Export Updates

Well, you asked, we delivered. We enhanced several key areas of the Whiteboard platform to help you more efficiently work, navigate and share content, including:

Miguel Haber Fun fact: the surfer featured in the image at the top of this post is actually our Product Lead for Whiteboard, thanks Miguel! 🤙🏻

A Few More Odds and Ends…

Additional tools and capabilities we don’t want to leave out include:

  • Continued work against View Idea 3.0, to update the functionality of our record view across all applications.
  • Incremental updates to the people pillar and licenses pages, surfacing all license types and last logins.
  • And finally, we closed nearly 100 bugs in our backlog stretching across our entire platform working on anything from image and video upload enhancements to 508 compliance work.

Stay Balanced and Ready

Right now, in a time of fast-paced change and rapid technological advancements, those that can harness the power of innovation will end up on top. As these disruptive waves arrive, we, at Brightidea, will do everything we can to ensure you and your teams are prepared and ready.

Surfs up and stay bright, 🏄
Brightidea team

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Spring Release 2023: In Innovation We Trust Tue, 07 Mar 2023 23:08:04 +0000 Reading Time: 8 minutes Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

In Innovation We Trust 3 features, 6 enhancements, 3 upgrades

A recent poll conducted by Gallup in 2022 found that trust in institutions is at an all-time low, but that might not come as a surprise to most given recent headlines around bank failures, economic headwinds and political gridlock. However, there is one institution missing from the Gallup findings which time and time again has led us out of darkness when our backs were against the wall, and that my friends is the institution of innovation. While trust may indeed be eroding in conventional institutions, our best option is to put our shoulders into what we know will not let us down and trust in our ability to innovate.

Our Spring Release is focused on new features, enhancements and bug fixes to help our customers be more efficient than ever while also bolstering the ability to ideate, innovate and track and measure the ROI of your programs.

Custom Idea Code Prefix 1 New Feature

You can now customize your idea code at both the system level and the site/initiative level for better flexibility and organization when managing multiple pipelines. This unlocks new functionality to help users:

  • Easily filter ideas at the system list view by custom idea codes.
  • Search for ideas  more efficiently with custom prefixes by initiatives.
  • Quickly surface ideas in URL strings by typing in custom code prefix.
  • Build reporting around initiatives and ideas that have the most potential, impact and ROI.

We are pleased to be bringing this customer request to the platform.

To learn more about how to customize your idea codes, check out our knowledge base article.

Idea Submission Form 2 Enhancements

We are thrilled to be addressing some common customer requests to upgrade the idea submission form. These upgrades will allow innovation managers more access to data and deeper customization of the submission form.

  • Idea submission form export options have been enhanced with secondary options for “Include Development fields,” and “Include hidden submission form questions.”
  • Added a “Linked Submissions” field to the submission form, so that submitters can link related ideas, right at time of submission.

Learn more about how to customize your submission form and export your submission data via our knowledge base article.

Brightidea ↔ Jira Integration 3.1 1 feature, 1 enhancement, 1 upgrade

The Brightidea ↔ Jira Integration has been updated to make it easier than ever to create or link ideas directly from Brightidea to Jira, groom your backlogs and provide seamless transparency between each platform.

  • Added Jira widget to View Idea 3.0 for transparency and configuration.
  • Added custom Jira field when ideas are sent to Jira from Brightidea that contains a link back to the original idea within Brightidea.
  • Upgraded to Jira Oauth 2.0 for a 2-click authentication to connect Brightidea Innovation Cloud to your Jira Cloud instance.

Pro-Tip: Reverse Backlog Integration
Hey Jira admins, is your backlog getting out of control? Did you know you can automate deep backlog collection from Jira > Brightidea? All you need to do is configure your Jira backlog to submit tickets or incidents to your Brightidea initiatives via status automation for better prioritization, evaluation and grooming of your deep backlog.

These enhancements to the Brightidea ↔ Jira integration make it easier than ever to monitor progress and report on impact and ROI from ideation > execution.

Learn more about the Brightidea ↔ Jira integration from our knowledge base article.

Whiteboard Updates

We are excited to say that we have also addressed several customer requests for upgrades, enhancements and new features for Whiteboards.

  • Improved ability to size and scale Stacks.
  • Now text boxes will retain the properties of the last text box that was added or edited and text that is copied and pasted into a text box will also retain original formatting.
  • Added zoom to fit all contents button to easily view all contents within a Whiteboard.

Learn more about all of the new Whiteboard capabilities in our knowledge base article.

Brightidea Memo 1 Feature, 2 Upgrades

This release includes updates to Brightidea Memo to make it easier than ever to start Working Backwards and develop your investment ready innovation bets.

  • Added advanced AI prompts to the Memo document editor dropdown to; complete your next sentence, answer a question, or reword your content.
  • Enhanced team site design and left rail to help drive top actions and JTBD.
  • Simplified create memo experience to surface templates and availability of all three editors.

The feature updates to Brightidea Memo make creating and reviewing memos easier and more efficient than ever before. With improved integration, visual representations, and flexibility, you’ll be able to work more effectively with your team and get more done in less time. Plus, enhanced third-party linking and email notifications make it even simpler to collaborate and stay on top of things.

Learn everything about Brightidea Memo in our knowledge base article.

A few more items to mention…

We have addressed several bugs including; Slack integration issues for initial authentication, rich text widget editor improvements. We also added the ability for Administrators to remove evaluators from the Step Configuration screen. We have also continued to work on global 508 compliance across the Brightidea platform.

Trust in innovation yields outsized returns for your businesses.

Let’s not allow our companies to become the next Gallup Poll, and place our trust in our ability to innovate effectively. We are here to partner with your teams to deliver products and services that will help you ideate, manage your backlogs, seek truth about ideas, place big bets, execute on those opportunities, track ROI and ultimately innovate better than your competitors can.

After all, your competitors are probably listening to conventional wisdom and taking austerity measures to cut spending on innovation, making now the time to double down on expanding your moat and leave them in the dust. But don’t just take our word for it, check out our recent blog covering findings from McKinsey and Company that found that companies that invested in innovation during economic uncertainty achieved a +30% CAGR above their peers that did not.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Never waste a good crisis!”

Stay bright,

The post Spring Release 2023: In Innovation We Trust appeared first on Brightidea.

Why Innovation Investments are More Important than Ever During Economic Uncertainty Fri, 10 Feb 2023 22:46:22 +0000 Reading Time: 15 minutes The 1st idea management platform with native whiteboards. Collaborate with your team in real time, in infinite space + link your ideas to innovation pipelines.

The post Why Innovation Investments are More Important than Ever During Economic Uncertainty appeared first on Brightidea.

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Companies that invest in innovation during economic downturns, realized outsized long-term growth rates according to McKinsey research.

Many companies are tightening their belt in what has been predicted to be the year of austerity. While defensive measures may be warranted, the question is which budgets will be cut? Your company’s innovation program may be vulnerable to the outdated notion that innovation is a luxury only to be afforded in a bull market. Whereas the truth is the exact opposite — history shows that the innovative bets made during times of uncertainty and crisis often lead to breakthrough products and services that yield big returns and a stronger market position. “Prioritizing innovation today is the key to unlocking post crisis growth.” As the late Brazilian race car champion Ayrton Senna once said, “you cannot overtake fifteen cars in sunny     weather, but you can when it’s raining.” 

If you’re responsible for your company’s innovation program you already know that innovation is necessary in a business landscape rife with disruptors and rapid technological changes that can quickly drive your products and services into extinction. But leadership may need a reminder that this is the time to double down, not cut back, on your company’s innovation program. 

In this blog we’ll share our top ten takeaways from a recent McKinsey article on innovation that you may want to share with colleagues as a reminder that innovation is now more essential than ever. In fact, companies like Amazon, Chipotle, Pfizer, Toyota and many more have consistently funded innovation to fuel their growth. The article echoes our view at Brightidea that innovation has become an essential, even prudent, growth strategy in this time of rapid change and uncertainty.

1. Companies that invested in innovation saw 30%+ increase in their CAGR.

It’s important to balance short term investments with breakthrough bets. In McKinsey’s 2021 New Business Building Survey, respondents reported that, on average, they expect half of their revenues in the next five years to come from entirely new products, services, and businesses. “As customers’ demands change, over indexing on small product tweaks (that address needs which may be temporary) is unlikely to boost long-term performance. However, “renovations” to designs and processes can produce savings that help fund longer-term investments in innovations that may create routes to profitable growth.”

Sustained resilients' that lead on both growth and productivity build the largest performance gap

It’s important to note, as this chart from McKinsey indicates, that the investments companies made in innovation take time to accrue. Investments made in 2007 begin to separate those companies’ performance in 2011 which according to this study demonstrates a 4 year path to ROI. Innovation takes time, but the juice is worth the squeeze if your company has the discipline to stick with it. After year 4 the +30% enhanced CAGR quickly begins to compound into market dominance.

If your team is a bit less patient to see ROI, there are some innovation initiatives that support quicker returns. Scheduled innovation events are a great way to focus a team’s attention on generating short term innovative solutions or refinements. But breakthrough ideas tend to emerge when least expected and will require more time and resources to develop into new products and services that make it to market, and therefore require investment in an innovation software platform.

2. Some innovation activities outperform others, and may not be obvious at first glance.

Now that we can agree that investments in innovation are worth it… the next question that arises is, “What are those companies investing in?” Or, to put it more plainly, “What the frick are those guys doing?!!” Luckily, McKinsey breaks out the most common innovation activities across the outperforming cohort of companies investing in innovation.

Economic Outperformers

Some of the innovation investments above seem obvious when broken out; such as, increases in R&D Spending and acquisition of new IP. Afterall, this is how Pharma creates new revenue from drug and therapy research and how Oil and Gas companies find new ways to extract petrochemicals via new techniques like fracking. Acquisition of IP also rings true when we consider all the M&A that took place over the last decade in the tech sector.

The less obvious, but most impactful investment that these companies made was to create a dedicated innovation group. Unfortunately, investing in a dedicated innovation group is often the missing leg of the strategic innovation stool. If we take a step back and utilize first principles thinking, if innovation investments have the potential to yield a 30% CAGR over the rest of the market, and we see this to be true, then why wouldn’t innovation warrant its own business unit and strategic focus?

The answer is obvious, and the data above supports the case. The real issue is the counterintuitive logic to invest when times are tough. It goes against conventional wisdom of cuts and austerity measures, but the brave who do stay the course are rewarded with market dominance.

3. Balance your defensive and offensive strategies.

McKinsey’s research shows that companies tend to fall behind if they focus solely on avoiding the downside. “Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, North American and European companies that controlled operating costs while also prioritizing revenue growth have delivered far more value to shareholders than their industry peers.”

Through-cycle outperformers achieved high excess TRS during downturn and recovery

The same research on corporate resilience shows that companies solely in defensive mode tend toward median performance, whereas companies solely in offensive mode experience a mix of big wins and losses. The data points to the merit of a middle ground approach.“The best leaders and companies are ambidextrous: prudent about managing the downside while aggressively pursuing the upside.” These “ambidextrous leaders create value despite volatility, setting up their organizations to thrive in a world that has likely changed in fundamental ways.”

According to Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Boston University, Siobhan O’Mahony, and Strategy & Innovation Research Assistant, Veronica Escobar-Mesa, “Many leaders consider innovation projects easy candidates for cost-cutting, as their impact on current operations is perceived to be minimal. This is called the “threat rigidity effect” where organizations become rigid rather than adaptive in threatening situations (Staw et al., 1981). When confronting a threat to existing operations, two challenges emerge.

First, leaders tend to restrict information processing — narrowing their field of attention and reducing the number and range of information channels used. But this can be counterproductive and hamper the ability to recognize and adapt to changing conditions.

Second, leaders often create new controls that concentrate power at higher levels of the hierarchy, inhibiting agility and adaptation to new circumstances. These responses may insulate the organization from immediate failure but may be maladaptive when fundamental changes are needed to align the business with the demands of the future.”

It is imperative not to fall victim to the conventional wisdom of cost cutting in a downturn. If innovation investments are curtailed, you are giving your competitors that stay the course a dramatic advantage that you will not be able to overcome in the future. The inertia built up from compounding benefits will put your business at a perpetual disadvantage even if you attempt to catch up when the economy improves.

4. Big innovation bets may now be safer than investing in incremental changes.

Incremental changes are essential but merely maintain the status quo. No company can afford to sit idle or rest on the laurels of past successes. When it comes to incremental changes, you may already be using a methodology like Lean or Agile, which are well suited to these smaller, more manageable, refinements. However, for quantum leaps that defy business as usual processes, such as a new product or service that requires significantly different sales, marketing, or operational tactics to be successful, a longform business narrative Memo Program is required to seek truth and allow the best ideas to win.

“Innovation has always been essential to long-term value creation and resilience because it creates countercyclical and non-cyclical revenue streams.” Counter-cyclical revenue streams are those that do well in economic downturns, since demand for these products and services continues regardless of the economy. In other words, these products and services are better able to weather the uncertainty of our time. The high performing companies from this report diversify their revenue streams in order to catalyze new growth and safeguard against disruption.

Disruption Increases 2023

5. Optimize for change rather than the current reality.

Change is the new constant, and if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that big, structural, changes can happen much quicker than we thought. “Companies that are optimized to a specific set of global conditions are more vulnerable to the sea change underway and need to invest more, not less, in innovation to open new paths
“Challenges should align with identified needs of the business. Without that alignment, ideas—no matter how good they are—may never move to implementation.” of viability.” The steadily decreasing lifespan of companies on the S&P 500 is a cautionary tale about disruption and the high cost of deprioritizing innovation. According to research conducted by Next Gen Personal Finance, “at the current churn rate, about half of S&P 500 companies will be replaced over the next ten years.”

A climate of uncertainty is the perfect time to prepare for change and explore opportunities outside of your core business. Scheduled innovation events like brainstorms, hackathons, and pitch competitions can provide a quick injection of fresh thinking into your organization.

There’s also a regular need to capture ideas across the organization that arise organically. Idea management software empowers your entire workforce to collect, share, evaluate, and develop ideas, filling your company’s pipeline with valuable bets. Idea management software also helps ensure promising ideas get captured and developed into longform business narrative proposals so they stand a chance of turning into a commercially viable product or service.

A mass extinction of established organizations

6. Place a bet on sustainability.

A sustainability initiative is table stakes for what it means to be a responsible company in the 21st century. The goal in developing sustainable business practices is to create strategies that preserve the long-term viability of people, planet, and profit, otherwise known as the triple bottom line.

Companies like Panera Bread, Yeti, and Colgate-Palmolive are showing that sustainable innovation is a key priority, paving the way for other companies to commit. Not only do these practices improve our collective well-being, but they also enhance your brand, improving trust with customers, your workforce, and shareholders. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, “corporate leaders will soon be held accountable by shareholders for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance—if they aren’t already.” Your company also becomes a more desirable place to work as many employees seek out companies with sustainable business practices.

“Today, the sustainability imperative is driving many such innovation bets…Sometimes, regulations can spur innovations in adjacent markets. For example, tax credits under 45Q, a section of the US federal tax code enacted in 2008, encourage investments in carbon capture and storage. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, meanwhile, creates opportunities in sustainable fuels and chemicals for firms that can leverage these incentives to build new businesses.”

7. Consider adopting a new business model.

Some innovations won’t fit into your current business model, but this shouldn’t disqualify them — new business models are needed as times change. Consider the evolution of Amazon. Amazon is not just a B2C marketplace, it’s also a streaming service, a B2B cloud service provider, as well as a B2B affiliate platform. Most of Amazon’s revenue now comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides hosting and cloud services to hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide. This is a huge shift from Amazon’s start as an online book retailer. 

New business models are common outcomes from major economic downturns. For example, the 2008 financial crisis gave birth to the sharing economy as companies such as AirBnB, Uber, and ZipCar, among many others, turned idle assets into profits. 

“Adopting new business models can enable companies to put more core competencies into play than investments further afield while also making the organization more adaptable and generating new growth.” Each business line will have its own unique vulnerabilities to external conditions, but in aggregate your company will diversify risk. 

Entering new markets and launching new business lines that call for new revenue models is a huge undertaking that benefits from a process that can handle that level of complexity. Consider adopting a Memo Program for navigating such fundamental and far reaching changes that can be disruptive to the company during times of transition and may create resistance from existing stakeholders. By leveraging the same longform written business narrative techniques pioneered at Amazon to help them navigate disruptive innovation bets, your team will think clearly about the opportunities presented and seek truth about how to invest the company’s resources.

8. Invest in partnerships or acquisitions.

Partnerships can be a highly effective growth channel. Smart companies leverage partnerships to acquire customers and enter new markets. “Over the past three years, top economic performers have doubled down on investments in new partnerships. Alliances and joint ventures can enable large companies to rapidly scale new business models or offerings that would take a long time to develop organically.”

Top economic performers were more effective at partnering with other organizations from 2020-22

Sometimes it makes more sense to acquire a company than form a partnership. Many start-ups will struggle in the current economic climate to procure capital. This puts your company in the position of being able to fill in this funding gap on favorable terms, while gaining access to new technological capabilities. The Brightidea Scout App can help expedite the process of identifying companies with the capabilities you need to enter new markets.

9. Companies that invest in innovation outperform those that do not.

McKinsey’s research reveals that, “organizations that prioritize growth and innovation during crises tend to leap ahead of competitors that retrench.”

Innovation leaders have increasingly outperformed competitors over the years overall

Boston Consulting Group has similar findings: “In the years following the financial crisis of 2008–2009, the publicly traded members of Boston Consulting Group’s 2007 ranking of the 50 Most Innovative Companies outperformed the broader market on shareholder return by 5.6% a year through the end of 2019.”

Tracking the ROI from your innovation investments is table stakes, not a nice to have, when making the case for sustained investments.

The data tells a clear and compelling story about the value and competitive advantage of innovation. But more than anything else, enrolling leadership in investing in your innovation program requires demonstrable results.

Our Idea management software provides a system of record to track the ROI of your innovation investments, helping demonstrate the value of the program and enabling you to refine your process. You’ll be able to see which teams contribute the most, as well as which initiatives have had the most impact in terms of revenue, market share, churn reduction, or whatever other metric you’d like to evaluate them by. You can even create and track the ROI of custom categories such as sustainability or DEI initiatives. 

With conviction in strategic innovation investments and software that can not only track your innovation results, but encourage and streamline the innovation process, your company can innovate with confidence throughout cycles of uncertainty and crisis to unlock post crisis growth.

The post Why Innovation Investments are More Important than Ever During Economic Uncertainty appeared first on Brightidea.

Winter Release 2022: Making a List… Checking It Twice Fri, 09 Dec 2022 18:08:50 +0000 Reading Time: 10 minutes Spring Release 2022 includes; Slack Integration 4.0, Whiteboard updates, View Idea 3.0 and much more!

The post Winter Release 2022: Making a List… Checking It Twice appeared first on Brightidea.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Making a List… Checking it Twice Winter Release 2022

The world has become more chaotic than ever before, and there are no shortages of crises that are disrupting nations, economies, companies, and individuals on a daily basis. Now more than ever, the ability to organize and focus on the most important tasks and opportunities is one of the most valuable skills anyone can develop. Without the ability to focus on the things that are going to have the greatest impact, it is easier than ever to be swept away by the never ending waves of disruption.

The holiday season is arguably one of the most chaotic times of year for individuals. Waves of disruption at home are the norm, with the daily chaos from visiting family, holiday parties, shopping nightmares, wrangling kiddos, decorating, cooking—even managing a seemingly endless wave of colds and sniffles… It can be exhausting, but also extremely rewarding for those who are able to navigate the chaos and stay organized. A well executed holiday season can be something the entire family remembers forever.

This winter release is focused on new features, enhancements, and upgrades to our software that are aligned to helping you stay organized and on task with your innovation programs. Innovation programs, like the holiday season, can also benefit from organization and optimization to make sure you’re focused on what will truly move the needle for the company. A well run and organized innovation program will produce the same unforgettable results when everything goes just right.

Let’s unwrap what’s in this year’s Winter Release Gift Emoji

Stack & Now Next Later Smart Objects New Feature

We’ve added a new Smart Object to Whiteboards that will help you stay on track via stacking, slicing and ranking opportunities. Don’t let your best ideas get lost in the shuffle, and help your team stay organized with lists and roadmaps via ouar new Smart Objects!

With Whiteboard Stack and Now, Next, Later, you can:

  • Create an ordered list.
  • Populate objects seamlessly in a stack rank order.
  • Break lists out into Now, Next, Later roadmaps for your team.
  • Add colored indicators to identify categories or related concepts.
  • Link ideas, memos and even Jira tickets within the objects.
  • Re-order, stack and roadmap the objects based on priority and importance.
  • Take a bulleted text list and drop it directly into either object.

Stack and Now, Next, Later Smart Objects are going to make it easier than ever to turn to-do lists into to-done lists, and have fun doing it! Keep your innovation efforts on track, and ensure your team is clear about which opportunities they should be working.

Check out the knowledge base for more info on how to get started using Stacks and Now, Next, Later.

Ice Breaker Templates New Feature

There’s nothing more awkward than silence… Whether it’s during a meeting or when you’re meeting new people at holiday gatherings. Luckily we have you covered for your next team collaboration session with our new Ice breaker Templates for Brightidea Whiteboard!

Don’t let things get awkward in your next collaboration session, instead try starting with one of the new Ice breaker Templates. Maybe there’s even a tip or two you can use to break the ice at your office holiday parties. Sweat

The Ice Breaker Templates include:

  • Roundtables
  • Put a meme on it!
  • What’s at your table?
  • Superpower
  • Pictionary

With clear instructions and engaging questions, the Ice Breaker Templates are a fun and valuable resource for any team looking to improve communication and build trust.

Learn more about how to use templates in our knowledge base, and be sure to check out our entire Template Gallery.

AI Writing Assistant Prompts Enhancement and Upgrade

Fans of ChatGPT get pumped! Our AI Writing Assistant, which leverages GPT-3 and is trained to write longform business narrative, has learned some new tricks and is now better than ever at helping you write great content for your memos.

Now you can prompt the AI Writing Assistant to:

  • Write the next sentence.
  • Reword the sentence.
  • Answer the next question.

It’s amazing when AI can help you get things done, improve quality, clarity or augment content. Get that list checked off even faster with our AI Writing Assistant. Magic WandRobot Emoji

Learn more about the AI Writing Assistant’s capabilities in our knowledge base article.

Top Memos + Smart Matrix Enhancement

We have brought the same functionality you know and love from Top Ideas + Smart Matrix into Brightidea Memo. With this integration send memo records from Top Memos directly to a Whiteboard’s Smart Matrix.

Now you can:

  • Send memos from Top Memos to Smart Matrix for further evaluation.
  • Sync data from your Smart Matrix evaluation to Top Memos in real-time.
  • Use 2x2 matrix vertices to customize evaluation criteria.
  • Evaluate memos with your team to help rank your Top Memos for funding.

Learn more about how Memo + Whiteboard work together by visiting the knowledge base.

Top Memos Sorting and Sharing Capabilities New Feature

Creating a dream list of your Top Memos to share with stakeholders is easier than ever! We’ve introduced a new filtering and sorting capability for Top Memos to help you easily share filtered lists with colleagues.

Now you can:

  • Filter and sort memos by topic, date, status, ranking and merit.
  • Easily share your filtered lists with colleagues via a shareable URL.
  • Obtain feedback, seek approval and maintain alignment with your stakeholders.

Filter Memos

Visit the knowledge base to learn more about Top Memos sorting and sharing capabilities.

Checking it Twice

Let’s check off a few more updates on our list this year. ✅

In the spirit of decorating and sourcing things up a bit we have worked on an Enhanced Card View in Top Memos which allows users to see more data than ever at-a-glance. With this new view you can see memo progress, statuses, stage and step indicators and even the latest review scores all within the card view. We have also upgraded your ability to decorate and design your initiative pages with Rich Text Editing! Now you can use HTML to edit and tailor your pages quickly, giving you benefits like speed and enhanced control over page design and content.

We’ve also checked off 20+number of requests from customers for upgrades, enhancements and bug fixes since our last release. We’re trying to keep our house tidy and our customers happy as we continue to address requests that get added to our list in Customer IdeaSpace.

Stay Merry and Bright

It’s more important than ever to have more tools at hand to help prioritize our work, and we hope your team will leverage these features to make your innovation outcomes unforgettable in the new year. As the chaos of the holiday season begins to peak, we hope that this year’s Winter Release will at least provide feelings of comfort, calm and certainty that your innovation program is equipped to organize and prioritize the most important opportunities and bets heading into 2023. So start marking your lists… and be sure to check them twice with your teams.

The post Winter Release 2022: Making a List… Checking It Twice appeared first on Brightidea.

Introducing Brightidea Memo Fri, 14 Oct 2022 18:17:09 +0000 Reading Time: 14 minutes Spring Release 2022 includes; Slack Integration 4.0, Whiteboard updates, View Idea 3.0 and much more!

The post Introducing Brightidea Memo appeared first on Brightidea.

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Bridging the gap from idea to funded business proposal

Brightidea has always been focused on empowering innovation activities through crowdsourcing ideas, solving problems, executing hackathons and pitch events, collecting ideas across the company all while creating a safe space for feedback and innovation to thrive. While all of these activities are important on their own, they still leave a gap between the idea and truly developing proposals that can bring to market opportunities that have the ability to change the trajectory of a company. Over the last few years we set out to discover the best possible way to develop big ideas into real world innovations, and in doing so, how we could build a software solution that would accomplish the same objective.

In our search we examined many different approaches to dealing with big ideas, but one approach seemed to be far more effective than the rest. Amazon, arguably one of the world’s most innovative companies, found a systematic way to internally and organically innovate that transformed their business from a successful online bookstore to one of the world’s most dominant tech companies.

At Amazon they refer to this methodology as Working Backwards, and it first starts with the customer in mind by writing a future looking press release and a set of FAQs about the hypothetical product or service. From there they rely on a collaborative longform narrative approach to develop their big ideas into well thought out business proposals that consider all of the information needed to make a strategic business investment and bring products to market like; AWS, Alexa, Kindle, Fire, Prime and more.

Brightidea Memo – Turn big ideas into big profits

Today, Brightidea is excited to announce the release of Brightidea Memo, the world’s first purpose-built software solution designed to harness the power of longform narrative memo writing. We have often heard from our customers that one of their biggest challenges is dealing with disruptive and game changing innovation. Big ideas by their nature are disruptive to normal business processes, and although almost all of our customers have game changing ideas being submitted to their innovation programs, very few of those opportunities make it into the company’s strategic roadmap for various reasons.

Brightidea Memo is an end-to-end solution that enables teams to take all of the ideas worthy for consideration, then develop them via longform narrative for evaluation, refinement, and investment using the same methodology that empowered Amazon to make the most impactful bets.

Let’s take a look at how Brightidea Memo is going to turn your team’s big ideas into big profits.

Memo Team Sites

Everything Memo related all in one place!

Brightidea Memo houses everything you need with regards to your Memo Program in your Memo Team Site. For Brightidea users, this will be very familiar territory and most of the experience will be similar to what you know and love from Brightidea.

Memo Team Site features:

  • Unlimited Memo users
  • Unlimited Memo creation
  • Unlimited Memo reviewers and contributors
  • Unlimited Memo administrators
  • Unlimited Memo Batches
  • Memo Userhome
  • Memo micro (Team) site
  • Brightidea Whiteboards

Writing and reviewing Memos is just the beginning… Now it’s time to execute! Keep the whole program together in your Memo Team Site. It’s a dedicated space for collaboration where you can link everything related to your memo program, post all updates and collaborate with your team, stay on track and execute effortlessly.

Ready to set up your Memo Team Site? Just reach out to your Customer Success Manager, or you can always start a 30 day free trial on your own.

Multiplayer document creation

Assemble your dream team and start writing.

All the features of your favorite document creation apps, but with the power of Brightidea collaboration features. Collaborate and craft your memos with the help of your best and brightest teammates and SMEs. Assign tasks to other contributors and quickly pick up where you left off.

Document creator features:

  • Track collaborator contributions at the document edit level
  • See who’s contributions moved the needle with X-Ray
  • Real-time multiplayer document creation
  • Commenting capabilities
  • Assign action items for reviews and editorial
  • Spelling and grammar check

Check out our knowledge base article to learn everything there is to know about our collaborative document editor.

AI Writing Assistant

Use our AI Writing Assistant to quickly generate your press release and FAQs.

The first step in Working Backwards is to start with a future press release of what your product or service would look like on launch day. This keeps customers top of mind and aligns value to what customers want.

After the press release follows internal and external FAQs to help flesh out your ideas. But writing a press release can be daunting, especially if you have never done it. With the power of our AI Writing Assistant, your users can quickly craft a press release and FAQs from just an idea description.

AI Writing features:

  • Generate content in less than a second
  • Leverage decades of innovation knowledge
  • Applied contextuality from web based results
  • Natural language processing automatically applied
  • Ask questions and get responses from the writing assistant
  • Let the writing assistant pick up where you left off and continue writing

With the built in AI Writing Assistant your team can eliminate writer’s block and get your memos moving.

Learn more about how to use the AI Writing Assistant in our knowledge base article.

Best-in-class templates

Get started quickly with templates from the world’s most innovative companies.

Never created a strategic memo before? No problem, we have some of the best-in-class templates from companies like Amazon, Stripe and LinkedIn to help get you started quickly.

Templates included:

  • Press Release
  • Executive summary
  • Internal FAQ
  • External FAQ

Want more templates? Submit your template ideas to Customer IdeaSpace and we will get them into our backlog.

Memo reviews

A critical component of a Memo Program is review and feedback. Memos often require multiple rounds of review and feedback before they are ready for approval and funding. At Amazon, reviews are conducted in ‘silent meetings’ where reviewers sit down and read memos in silence before providing feedback to the authors.

With Brightidea Memo you can conduct Amazon like ‘silent reviews’ from anywhere, which greatly expands the amount and diversity of feedback that the authors can obtain. You can assign review action items on the fly or as a part of your batch process so that you collect feedback whenever the author or Memo Program owner needs it.

Review features:

  • Request reviews on the fly
  • Two way commenting between reviewers and authors
  • Assign reviews as a formal action item in your Batch workflow
  • Aggregate feedback and scoring
  • Historical scoring to track improvement
  • Automation to progress memos that cross your review scoring thresholds

Expand the reach and audience from in the room silent meetings to anytime, anywhere feedback sessions with Brightidea Memo.

Learn how to request a review of your memo on the fly in our knowledge base article.

Structured workflows for Memo Batches

Manage your end-to-end Memo Program with automated workflows for Memo Batches.

Staying organized is critical to the success of your Memo Program. With Brightidea you can leverage automated workflows to monitor and progress your memos along. Your Memo Team Site comes with a preconfigured workflow based upon best practices for running a Memo Program. Feel free to customize our out of the box workflow to meet your team’s process by adding fully configurable steps and stages or removing things that are not necessary.

Memo Pipeline

Workflow features:

  • Unlimited Memo Batch setup
  • Best-in-class memo workflow template
  • Fully configurable steps and stages
  • Rules Engine automation
  • Assign action items
  • Assign reviewers
  • Webhooks and integrations

The Memo Workflow comes with all the features you know and love from pipelines, but if you want to learn more you can check out our knowledge base article.

Using Smart Matrix to help score your memos

Balancing qualitative and quantitative feedback is key in understanding business priorities. Don’t forget to use the Brightidea Whiteboard tool to help. From list view, steps, or top ideas, users can right-click and send the memos directly into the Whiteboard.

Use the Smart Matrix feature to further evaluate and stack rank memos. These scores will be tracked and showcased directly in Top Ideas to help consider which Memo should be progressed within your planning cycle.

Learn all about using Smart Matrix to score memos in our knowledge base article.

Top Ideas to surface the next, best memo

The Top Ideas interface allows admins to surface the best ideas at-a-glance via several different criteria such as; top rated from evaluations, most popular, most active, smart matrix scoring, and even those with the most merit.

This feature cuts through the noise allowing you more time to work on the ideas that will have the most impact and let the best ideas win and with this new release, we have ensured you will see the most critical information available at a glance with our new, enhanced card view.

Memo Top Ideas in Dark Mode

When using the Top Ideas interface, users can apply filters and sort preferences to help showcase or identify gaps, opportunities, and next steps. These filters can now be shared with other user’s in the system, to ensure teams are working through the same prioritized list or items that may be ready for review.

Learn all about Top Ideas in our knowledge base article.

Measure impact and track KPIs

Brightidea Memo comes loaded with robust reporting and analytics dashboards to track engagement, business impact, ROI and much more. Leave the guesswork out of your Memo Program. Know which memos and contributors are making the biggest impact at a glance and report on the success of your program to executives.

Memo Dashboards

Dashboards include:

  • Employee Engagement
  • Heat Maps to track regional engagement
  • Business Impact Tracking
  • Projected Impact v. Actual Auditing

Showcasing the impact of your Memo Program should be a breeze once you’re up and running.

To learn about all of our Dashboard and reporting features, check out the knowledge base article.

Use the documents tools that you’re comfortable with

We’ve also built a Brightidea browser extension so you can request and complete reviews within the document, syncing live with the Brightidea system Easily create a document with your preferred document editor directly in Brightidea for the whole team to locate and access, while still linking out to the native app. Use the browser extension to write memos, complete reviews, track progress, comment, collaborate and keep the data in sync with your Memo Team Site, regardless of where you prefer to work.

Memo Browser Extension

You can download the browser extension for Chrome here.

Read more about how to set up our browser extension for Google Drive and OneDrive in our knowledge base article.

Experienced practitioners to support you

Starting from zero can be scary… but we have you covered. Our team of consultants can get your Memo Program up and running fast! With decades of combined experience, we are uniquely equipped to train you and your stakeholders.

We offer a variety of onboarding and consulting services to help your team learn how to not only write memos and conduct silent meetings, but also how to manage your end-to-end Memo Program. For those more experienced practitioners, we also offer advanced strategic planning workshops focused on maturing your Memo Program.


Try Memo today for free

Longform memo writing is the way Amazon broke out of being an online bookstore and was able to consistently innovate. At Brightidea, we believe that longform memo writing is the key to developing big ideas that defy business as usual processes and need dedicated resources to bring to market. That’s why we developed Brightidea Memo to facilitate a memo writing program that will bridge the gap between ideas and fully fundable business proposals ready for launch and scale.

Memo is designed to be an end-to-end solution that helps teams launch a Memo Program who have never done it before, as well as level up the efforts of existing Memo Programs by bringing all of the Memo Program activities into one centralized location.

Give Brightidea Memo a try today for free, and take advantage of our introductory pricing of $99/team site/mo. before it’s gone!

Until next time,
Stay bright

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