Pearson White Logo

Pearson Education Makes A Difference For Kids With ADHD

“Brightidea enabled us to capture the voice of the customer to identify this important need and develop a solution for kids with ADHD.”

Sara Cuesta

Business Development Manager


Pearson Logo




The Challenge

Pearson Education is the world’s leading learning company focused on helping learners of all ages make progress in their lives. Pearson recently identified that their industry was going through disruptive market change, with customers demanding digital solutions in lieu of traditional paper media. The company needed new ways to innovate in order to harness this market reality, develop new solutions, find new sources of revenue and increase intimacy with their customers.

The innovation leaders at Pearson Education are Jacqueline Krain and Sara Cuesta. Jacqueline is the Director of Product Lifecycle who works on driving growth through innovation in this new digital world. Sara Cuesta is Business Development Manager for the New Business and Innovation Group for Pearson Clinical Assessments.

Jacqueline and Sara are responsible for finding, managing and incubating new initiatives for growth within the Pearson Clinical Assessments group. They needed a way to help connect stakeholders in 13 countries, and needed a tool to not only crowdsource ideas globally but also to help prioritize those ideas. Pearson had been using spreadsheets, which was ineffective as there was no way to gather the feedback and track buy in from customers and internal stakeholders.

The Solution

After a rigorous evaluation process four years ago, Pearson selected Brightidea based on the collaborative innovation platform’s powerful back-end idea management capabilities. According to Jacqueline, “The reason we stay with Brightidea is because the service is exemplary. The Project Management support offers deep insight on innovation as a body of knowledge so we understand the theory and how to put it into practice. We also love the fact that they are always improving their product.”

Sara’s process is to meet with the Innovation Product Leads for the various lines-of business (LOB) to understand their needs, and then demonstrate how Brightidea’s idea crowdsourcing platform can support and accelerate their particular initiatives. Brightidea is adaptable to meet the variety of LOB use cases, from time-boxed initiatives to open collaboration portals, from internal to external to hybrid campaigns. When a new LOB opportunity arises, Sara is able to quickly and easily set up and launch new Brightidea innovation initiatives.

Pearson Body

One particular success story involved an innovation initiative that Pearson Clinical Assessment ran in 2014 around improving learning and health outcomes for children with ADHD. The initiative included 131 internal and external participants and generated 52 ideas. Sara’s team used Brightidea to build out proposals on best ideas, elaborating on the value proposition and market opportunity. Then, they put Brightidea’s Scorecarding tool into the hands of the leadership team to score and prioritize the top ideas.

The Results

The winning idea identified a huge communication gap between all the people involved in the caregiving of a child with ADHD – parents, clinicians and educators were not on the same page. Pearson Clinical Assessment took this information and built Attention 360, a Web portal that connects all of these individuals. For parents, physicians, and educators, Attention360 maps the combined learnings of a child with ADHD, providing better health and life outcomes.

“Within a six-month period we had selected an idea that was crowdsourced from a customer and developed into a product which today has over 2300 subscribers.”

At the corporate level, Jacqueline and her team are working with stakeholders across all of Pearson’s global business units to drive product development and innovation best practices. Her vision is to fundamentally change the DNA so that Pearson lives and breathes a culture of innovation. She says, “I believe that Brightidea can be a vehicle to help us launch into that next stage of who we are.”