Ideas and Execution
In recent years there has been a backlash against ideas and creativity with quotes like “Ideas are worthless. Execution is everything – Scott Adams” becoming popular. Of course, it is true that an idea needs to be well executed but it is equally true that without ideas there is no execution.
Idea Storm example…
Take, for example, my company Idea Storm, which does design thinking facilitation and training. I have been trying to position my services in the market and had started to despair that I would be able to break into the market and provide a differentiated service to other incumbents. Then a month ago I came across the concept of the Idea Management software solution and had an idea of potentially selling an Idea Management software solution to the South African market. This was just an idea and I had to act on it. I investigated the Idea Management solutions on the market and short listed four. I then reached out to these four and found Crowdicity to be friendly, engaging and I have quickly become a value-added reseller for them.
Although becoming a Crowdicity reseller has just started and the value of the idea still depends on the sales strategy and execution, at least the idea has moved to execution within Idea Storm.
Ideas are important….
So even if ideas come into the world with no value, the potential value of an idea is almost limitless.
For this blog I am going to look at the value of ideas to medium to large organisations and suggest three areas of idea value.
1.Product and Services development
The first use of Ideas is in product and service development. I don’t think I need to convince you that a company needs to be continuously developing new, and refining, current products and services. The reasons for this are obvious and range from competitors introducing new products and services that are either going to make yours obsolete, or at best erode your market share, to developing new products and services to increase your revenue and profitability.
So perhaps the question is where do these ideas come from? They come from a dedicated R&D division (incubation hubs/labs), from replicating and enhancing a competitor’s product or they can come from your own staff and customers.
Ideas from staff and customers.
A large company has thousands of employees that either engage with customers directly or operate in divisions throughout the company to make it profitable and run efficiently. Most of these employees have a vested interest in the company being successful and they would like to be noticed and rewarded if they make a meaningful contribution to this success.
For a medium to large company an idea management solution is a tool that employees can use to capture their ideas and contribute to other ideas others have raised. If challenges are properly structured, and aimed at a targeted group of employees, then the chances of getting good ideas are greatly improved.
Idea management solutions can also be extended to customers who often have spent considerable resources in investing in a supplier and also have a vested interest in that supplier providing a superior product and service in a more efficient manner. If an idea management portal is exposed to them, there is a high probability that they will provide high quality ideas.
2.Business process improvement
Not only does the collection of ideas help with new product and service development but it also helps in streamlining and improving current business processes.
Once again, an idea management solution can be used to present the processes in need of improvement as challenges to groups of employees. These employees will then propose their ideas and the group can help work on and refine the ideas suggested.
3.Improved employee engagement
Studies have shown that improving the engagement of employees gives an organisation a crucial competitive advantage – allowing higher productivity levels and lower employee turnover. If employees are happy with their work they will feel more invested in the success of the company.
To do this your company needs to make employees feel that they are being heard and to ensure that their ideas aren’t been pushed aside.
This is where an idea management solution is critical as it allows employees to log their ideas, see the engagement around their ideas, see if their ideas have been converted to projects and get recognition for their ideas.
Here are two more benefits of improved employee engagement:
Increased productivity: engaged employees often become the top performers, who want to achieve success for their business. As their motivation increases, their productivity increases too.
Retention and recruitment: retaining good employees builds a strong team and creates loyalty. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay, which then increases the ability to hire others to work for the company with the same ethics.
Ideas are valuable
In conclusion – ideas without execution have no value BUT there needs to be ideas in the first place. A good idea management solution is vital for the collection and evaluation of ideas.
Crowdicity is a leading Idea Management solution and Idea Storm is the partner for South Africa. I can meet with you to take you through the solution and its value to you.