In a recent audit of site content on, site publishers noticed that although there is a great deal of information about how to architect and run idea management programs, there isn’t a whole lot of information about how to implement ideas.

This insight led IdeaScale to consider its top implementers (those organizations who most often move ideas into some sort of completed or archived stage). Redwood Credit Union is one of these key customers that has implemented 85 new customer experience improvement ideas in its first year.

But how did they do it? Well, they had all the basic ingredients that you would expect: great team, process, and values in place, but they also used a tactic that reminded us very much of a tactic used in passing legislation. That of the policy rider: “in legislative procedure, a rider is an additional provision added to a bill or other measure under the consideration.”

You see, Redwood Credit Union’s ideation community centered around ways to improve their member experience. The team running the program was dedicated to implementing ideas that would help them improve their organization’s overall Net Promoter Score so they were highly incentivized to make these changes happen even if they weren’t going to happen within their own team. So in order to maximize the number of ideas that are implemented each year, the team works first to find existing in-development programs and projects that align to promising ideas and attaches the idea to the project. This practice is similar to attaching policy riders to legislation that has a good chance of passing. By finding a project that’s already been approved and improving on it, they find it’s more likely that the entire set of changes will be adopted.

Obviously, in government these riders aren’t always relevant to the bill, but in business it’s much more likely that these “idea attachments” will pass if they are germane to the project that’s already in progress. So it’s not just about finding a live project but an appropriate one. How do you align ideas with existing initiatives at your organization? Is this something that they should be doing in government? 

To learn more about Redwood Credit Union’s idea management program that helps them better serve their customers, download the full case study. 

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.

Featured image via Yayimages.