Launching an innovation program is challenging for a number of reasons. Most of the time, champions of innovation face two main problems: 1) the general challenge of coordinating the various aspects of the innovation department, but also 2) educating the rest of the community about the value of innovation and how it will impact them. Addressing some of the main questions or challenges right off the bat paves the way for innovation success later.

At IdeaScale, there are four main categories of questions that re-surface time and again when you have to educate the team and build a sustainable, successful innovation initiative. Here are the four most common things that senior management (and the rest of the team) will want to know:

  • Team Planning. Oftentimes, the team that will be supporting enterprise innovation has to support a cross-section of skill sets. Innovation needs cover quite the range: from legal and communications, to moderation and analytics, and more. Setting up the right team will ensure success all the way through to implementation.
  • Communications: Communications is a skill that is applied throughout the innovation process. From getting the right people involved, to refining the best ideas, to sharing the program’s success and orchestrating new launches. Developing a killer communications strategy is intrinsic to success.
  • Defining the Process: A high-level process is pretty straightforward. It breaks down into planning, collection, refinement, evaluation, and implementation. Deciding what that process looks like in its particulars in your organization is a much more difficult challenge. Designing and sharing the process with the team will improve buy-in.
  • Moderation Best Practices: Good moderation can often determine the success of a community. Moderators encourage discussion, help members collaborate, keep the conversation on track, and more. Giving them the tools they need to be good communicators will result in higher quality ideas and a more positive program sentiment overall.

IdeaScale has packaged an innovation starter kit that helps educate the team about the uses and value of innovation, as well as offering some templates for planning communications, moderation strategy, and more.

Download the innovation starter kit here.

By Rob Hoehn

About the author

Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.

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