Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enterprise FAQs on collaborative innovation

Enterprises long ago realized that unless ‘Quality’ is part of every employee at work, on the ground and not in the books, just having a focus group for ‘Quality’ is a waste.

The pageant has reached focus group for ‘Innovation’. If you want to be an innovative company, you better have everybody who can innovate innovating for you, and there better be an established way for doing so. Though there are no arguments on why the leaders or the employees want collaborative innovation, there are few frequently asked questions? We present three of them here.

Would members of innovation focus group of an enterprise be ok with losing some control?
No and then Yes! No because it’s but natural to resist change. However the same team will find themselves benefiting from this change. When they have access to more raw ideas, more diverse solutions, access to more talent, the focus group will realise that they have more time to supervise and align the innovation to the business objectives. The change will allow the focus group to work on implementing the innovation in a manner that benefits the organization, in turn improving the productivity of innovation group.

How can I pick the right solution from all the noise?
Collaborative innovation is all about getting lots of solutions, good ones, bad ones, sometimes even pure trash, but this is part of the deal and needs to be dealt with. Here is how. a) Select the right solver base, even if you have selected all employees or whole world, promote your challenge in a right forum. b) Describe the challenge and be clear on what you want, explicitly state must meet and good if met expectations c) Distribute the task of solution reviews, let there be crowd sourcing even in the evaluation phase.

How can I, as a solver, be sure that my ideas will not be used without paying for it?
There is some possibility of one misusing the spirit of collaborative innovation and not paying for what they use. However there are ways to avoid it, here is how ideaken makes sure this misuse does not happen. a) ideaken makes serious effort to know who is posting the challenge b) innovation seeker accepts terms and conditions where they agree to allow audit on request. c) ideaken encourages enterprise usage of the platform, that means the challenge submission is always from a credible source. d) The entire transaction happens online, so there is an audit trail of everything which is said and shared.

Overall the benefits of collaborative innovation surpasses the challenges it throws at us. And that is one of the reasons why collaborative innovation, open innovation, co-creation is topping the list of innovation agenda of every leader in the enterprise.

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