A key part of the creative thinking process is idea generation. The more novel solutions you come up with, the more likely it is that you’ll uncover something truly innovative. But having a lenghty list can prove to be troublesome.
Read on to find out how an idea management platform can boost your idea selection process!
Most of the times, organizations don’t have a system in place for selecting ideas. To avoid wasting resources, any company should follow an innovation process. There are two main types of idea selection processes. The first occurs when the team reaches a critical mass of ideas. The second happens when the idea is presented to a decision maker. In this post, we will focus on the first idea selection process that occurs within the team. If done well, it makes the decision easier when it is time for a gatekeeper to review it. At this stage, ideas need to be evaluated, compared and ranked. Use an idea management platform to automate this process. There are different aspects that a company needs to consider when picking the best ideas. Besides novelty, understand what is the underlying value of the solution. Also, who does this idea target? To create successful products and services, tailor the features to your customer’s needs.
Ideas generated in the brainstorming phase are never complete. The team needs to go over the ideas, cluster them and them improve them. In theory, this sounds straightforward, but it can prove to be challenging. Create clear questions that will support the innovation process. Involve people with different expertise to ideate together. Keep analyzing different perspective to identify underlying themes. What is the root cause of the problem? What should the solution address? The most important aspect at this stage is gaining insight from different people. Internal or external crowdsourcing is the way to do this. Set an ideation challenge or ‘mission’ as we call it at Ideanote. Uncover the best ideas by using both crowd input and the interface of our idea management platform. Include employees outside the division hosting the challenge to achieve diversity.
Once you have improved the ideas, connect these insights to the company’s objectives. Nothing will shut an idea down faster than it not meeting the vision and mission of the organization. Sometimes an idea might seem good, but it’s just not in line with your brand. Then shelf it and come back to it a few months and see if the situation has changed. Keep refining ideas instead of forgetting about them. You never know if it may become a source of growth later on. Present that idea to stakeholders and internal influencers. Talk about how it meets the company’s strategic objectives. Think about what other important considerations are necessary. Having support early on from the stakeholders will push the process forward. Remember, the sooner you can get to testing, the sooner you’ll have a product on the market.
Don’t base your ideas on assumptions about the consumer. It is important to test everything before moving forward. Design thinking discusses creating prototypes. The Lean Startup Methodology focuses on early market research. There are endless possibilities for testing your assumptions. Some great examples include experimentation and ethnographic studies. Amongst many others, a company can also organize focus groups and conduct A/B testings. It is fundamental to understand that this can cause multiple iterations of the idea. By continuously testing, the team will identify which features are necessary and which are not. You must be ready to learn and pivot. Update the documentation including these key learnings and insights. They will serve as valuable data for the decision maker when reviewing the idea.
Don’t fall for the “not invented here” syndrome. Organizations can often think that their idea is great just because it was created internally. But users will often show resistance to innovation. This occurs when they have to learn something new. A customer will look at the relative advantage that is being offered and compare it to the complexity of understanding and use. They will judge how compatible the offering is in comparison to the current routine. The further away the offering is from the customer’s current habits, the stronger resistance the offering will meet in the marketplace. If the customers don’t find the relative advantage, they may postpone purchasing until the risk has reduced. They might buy if it the solution becomes used in their social circles. However, if the user is resisting the innovation, they may reject the offering. Avoid making potential customers believe that the offering is against their values. This opposition can kill your new product before it has a chance for traction. Even though it might seem a time-consuming process, learning occurs while testing assumptions. The resources spent testing will unveil the types of resistance your company might experience. But don’t forget to consider that different users will resist differently. This new understanding will be essential for the process of designing the product. It will help your team better communicate the solution to innovators and early adopters.
These steps can’t be conducted in depth for every idea. That’s because knowledge costs a lot of resources. Consider the 4 phases during the converging stages of idea selection to make better decisions. After all, the aim of innovation is creating value for customers. Thus, enabling revenue generation and growth for the company. Make use of an idea management platform improves your idea selection process. Bring together employees from different departments and allow them to combine their knowledge. Stay competitive on the market by employing a systematic innovation process. Are you ready?
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