This blog will cater for at least two types of readers:
You believe that your company has a need for an Idea Management solution and you would like to convince people that it is something to invest in
You have heard about Idea Management and would like to see if your company would benefit from it.
This blog is based on an article titled “Top 5 symptoms you need an Idea Management tool” by Sushil Rajeshirke.
Here are the symptoms that your company is probably experiencing that could show that you need to invest in an idea management solution.
1. Symptom #1: You find that your competitors are coming up with far superior, innovative products and services, faster than you are.
The world is changing at ever increasing rate. PWC released a study titled “2017 Global Digital IQ® Survey: 10th anniversary edition”. The survey said that although CEO’s had embraced digital as part of their mandate and that technology was an integral part of business strategy, that companies where falling behind. They weren’t falling behind because of lack of effort but because technology is just changing increasingly faster.
This is because of dramatic advanced in what PWC calls the essential eight:
Internet of Things (IoT)
So how does you company keep pace with these eight areas and digital transformation in general?
PWC has a suggestion to consider:
“Focus on the human experience: Rethink how you define and deliver digital initiatives, consider employee and customer interactions at every step of the way, invest in creating a culture of tech innovation and adoption, and much more.”
– 2017 PWC Global Digital IQ Survey
How can your company focus on employee and customer interactions? Well ask them and capture their ideas in an Idea Management solution.
2. Symptom #2: Your customer support agents are getting burnt out handling customer complaints and there seems to be no-one around to provide a definitive answer.
What is the cause of an increase in customer complaints? Your products, services and customer service hasn’t decreased but the complaints keep increasing.
Bad news - it is because customers have become increasingly more demanding. That which satisfied customers in past years will probably not meet their expected levels this year.
Good news – if you can understand your customers’ needs and treat them like actual humans then you can reap rewards.
Of course, customer surveys and feedback are vital in knowing the needs of customers but asking customer-facing employees is also a very important channel to getting feedback and ideas on how to cater for customers. This is where an Idea Management solution can be very useful.
3. Symptom #3: Your best people are abandoning the ship, almost in droves and your HR is unable to figure out why.
Why do good employees leave companies?An article on www.thebalancecareers.com titled “Top 10 reasons why employees quit their jobs”says that employees quit for many reasons but the majority of reasons an employee quits is under the control of the employee.
The article says that the best way to retain employees is to stay in touch with what they are thinking.An important tool for a company to do this is an Idea Management solution for staff to submit their ideas and thinking within a company.
Dawn Philip - Head of Innovation at Rand Merchant Bank – says of their Idea Management solution that “It has been absolutely fantastic and what has surprised her is the staff engagement. Feedback she has received is that it feels like the staff members finally have a voice and RMB can actually hear what they would like to say.”
4. Symptom #4: Operating costs across the company are shooting up.
Jeffrey Baumgartner wrote an article on www.innovationmanagement.se titled “The potentially high cost of not implementing an idea” where he states “Many managers are very good at working out the cost of implementing an idea. But they often completely fail to calculate the cost of NOT implementing it. This may sometimes be far more expensive than implementing it, especially over the long term”.
He uses this example - “Sometimes it is relatively easy to calculate the cost of not implementing an idea, particularly when the idea is expected to result in cost savings. Let us imagine you are reviewing an idea that promises to improve the efficiency of your production line. There would be a one-time cost of €500,000 to implement the idea, but once this is done, it will reduce your manufacturing costs by €5 per unit. Let us further imagine you are now making 100,000 units per year.”
The thinking here is that if you company’s operating costs are increasing, perhaps one of the reasons is that your company isn’t capturing and using the ideas that your staff might have to reduce expenses.
5. Symptom #5: You and your team get shivers down your spine even when you think about your next meeting with your boss
When a company is in a downward spiral, meetings with the boss become increasingly difficult.
The opposite of a downward spiral is obviously an upward spiral and it is what we need to try and work towards within companies. In “The Upward Spiral: Bootstrapping Systemic Change” by Elizabeth Doty on www.thesystemsthinker.com it talks about something called the Grassroots Change to create an upward spiral.
“By contrast, with Grassroots Change, we think of change occurring through “ripple effects.” It relies on many small-scale efforts, gradually winning converts until the new way replaces the old. This approach allows for creative emergence yet can fail to take off if it does not engage structural barriers that limit progress or if local efforts do not build on each other. If our experiments run out of energy, or if we have excluded important opposition, the system can swing back again toward the other pole.”
One of the ways of finding and implementing small-scale efforts is through an Idea Management solution and process.
Are these symptoms found in your company?
If any of these symptoms are present in your company, then perhaps an Idea Management solution and process could be helpful within your company.