Ideation: The Keys to an Effective Process to Promote Innovation
The 3 Types of Ideation at Work in Organizations
Generate ideas by chance / accident / accident during daily activities of employees.
- Continuous process allowing ideas to be submitted at any time, for example: suggestion box, collaborative platforms …
Generate a wide range of ideas, which are not necessarily related to known requirements or demands.
- Structured process with periodic “calls for ideas”, example: creativity workshops.
Ideation Guided by a Problem
Generate ideas to solve specific needs, problems and / or goals.
- Targeted and recurring actions over a limited period, example: challenges, brainstormings …
To maximize their ideation, companies must capitalize on spontaneous and provoked idea generation. Combining an ongoing process of idea submission and the organization of periodic creativity sessions is a relevant way to unite people around idea generation.
The key Challenges for Companies in Relation to the Generation of Ideas
- Guarantee a constant flow of ideas
- Ensure a high level of creativity
- Increase the quality of ideas
- Generate transversal ideas
The Three Phases of the Ideation Process and Associated Advice
Phase 1: Generation of Ideas
Implementation of Tools to Capture and Manage All the Ideas Generated:
- Deploy tools allowing spontaneous and continuous feeding to promote the generation of exploratory ideas and enrich specific issues / subjects
- Example of tools: collaborative platform & cross-fertilization events / days
Levers to Boost Creativity in the Generation of Ideas Internally:
- Creation of a transversal “creative community”,
- Implementation of a specific structure in charge of creativity and ideation,
- Provision of a pleasant and inspiring space for creativity / ideation Example of levers:
- Example: rewards for the ideator and room dedicated to ideation
Phase 2: Maturation of Ideas
Give people time and space to nurture their ideas (isolated from the daily business context)
- Foster cross-challenges / self-development of ideas
Define the characteristics of the idea segment by segment:
- What’s the idea?
- What is its added value?
- What are the technology, skills and resources needed to implement it?
- What will the cost be?
Define a simple format to capture ideas:
- Create a pool of “Idea Mentors”
Make an initial filtering of ideas while avoiding self-censorship:
- Create a team of “Ideation Facilitators”
Phase 3: Selection and Prioritization
Set up a simple and effective idea management tool:
- Define KPIs to monitor idea generation:
- KPI on the direct output of the feeding process (for example, number of ideas generated),
- KPI on indirect output (for example, the number of ideas turned into a product in the market).
Organization / Efficiency
Set up a tailor-made organization promoting internal exchanges and developing links between functions and services:
- Take advantage of successes and failures,
- Promote organizational initiatives:
- Allocate time and resources to the generation and exploration of ideas,
- Create a network of innovation facilitators,
- Encourage the intrapreneurial spirit,
- Deploy a collaborative platform.