At one point, every business started as an idea in the mind of it’s founder or founders. In order to grow into a successful business, the idea needed to be nurtured and developed. In both new companies and established enterprises, managers can implement idea management practices. The best management of ideas ultimately lead to innovation, new products or optimized processes. To get you started, here are main steps to implement an idea management process.
Choose An Idea Management Platform
Firstly, your company needs a platform to manage ideas. Previously, idea management relied on meetings, notes and suggestion boxes. Today, there are many idea software and solutions that allow members of your organization to develop new ideas. Often times, companies use a messaging, social business app or intranet forum to capture ideas. However, specialized idea management solutions are meant for each step of the process. Thus, keep your current resources in mind to find a solution for your organization.
Plan Your Idea Management Structure
Next, plan your management structure for ideas. Similar to an organizational structure, ideas must follow a chain of command. If possible, choose a structure that aligns with your orignal startup or ecommerce business plan. A well planned structure ensures get recognized by the right people. You ideas can follow a centralized or decentralize system. Depending on the size and hierarchy of the business, you can also take a hybrid approach. Of course, you can make necessary changes to your plans as you develop a strong idea management process.
Encourage Idea Generation
After setting up a platform and structure, invite your team members to start gathering their ideas. Encourage everyone to login to your idea management system and get familiar with how to log new ideas for the business. Include everyone from the payroll manager to supply chain specialist. They are much more likely to contribute if they understand where to add their ideas. Certainly, idea capturing is a critical part of managing ideas.
Evaluate Submitted Employee Ideas
Then, the gathered ideas get evaluated by your planned structure. It might be project managers, team leads, coordinators or the CEO themselves. Regardless, all ideas should be carefully evaluated by key personnel in the company. Naturally, the designated managers decide which ideas to hold, store or put into action. The evaluation step of idea management leads to either implementation or rejection of submissions. It should be carefully handled with the right people.
Provide Idea Recognition
When managers provide recognition of great ideas, the idea generation increases. On the other hand, team members are less likely to submit their ideas when they have little impact. Thus, you have to create an environment where people receive feedback and recognition for their contributions. It should be safe to submit bad ideas because they can lead to pivotal learning experiences. Furthermore, they have the potential to become great invention ideas with further clarification, discussion or analysis. Carefully, provide idea recognition to your team to manage properly.
Follow these steps to implement an idea management process. Start with a good platform and clear plan for idea management structure. Then, collect ideas from everyone in your business. Evaluate and provide feedback. Finally, prepare to implement the best ideas that will lead to higher revenues, lower costs and faster push to market. With the best ideas in your industry, the business will continue to outperform the competition and experience accelerated growth.
Image from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252488