Category Archives: IdeaScale

The Key to Groundbreaking Drug Innovation? Utilize Old Drugs

image curtesy of Laura Gilmore via flickr

The process of drug research, development, approval, and distribution is slow moving. To a healthy individual this of course makes logical sense because staying healthy requires it. For individuals suffering from yet incurable illness, disease, virus, or disorder, and those who know and love them, this process is a race against health and hope.

According to TED Blog, effective drugs only exist for 6% of the 4,000 diseases with known molecular causes. To make more of researched data, in 2012, the US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences created two crowdsourcing tools directly connecting researchers and drug manufacturers. Contributing pharmaceutical companies release their data on drug compounds that they researched but, in the end, did not utilized (source).

Researchers benefit from access to expensive and time consuming research already conducted. “Some perspective: While it can take up to 15 years and $1 billion to bring a new drug to market, according to some estimates, more than 90% of drugs fail to make it past the early development and toxicity testing stages of the drug pipeline” (source). Pharmaceutical companies benefit by staying at the cutting edge of health innovation, while creating connections with new researchers, but without investing funds, only unused resources.

The drugs being repositioned have already passed initial testing stages, meaning they are safe, but were found to be ineffective for their intended purpose, or were moved out of the research and production schedule. The successful 2012 endeavor culminated in the NIH awarding $12.7 of funding to academic research groups which found compounds and potential new treatments. They are currently gearing up for a second round of open innovation drug repositioning (source).

Finding new uses for compounds researched yet deprioritized by larger pharmaceutical companies is innovative. But the largest value created by this NIH program is in connecting the larger community of drug researchers, developers, and producers. Download this white paper to see more ways that the larger crowd, including patients and providers, is being leveraged to further health care innovation. The sharing of data will only help to short cut the process of getting these innovations into the hands of those who need them most.

Break out of the Boardroom

image curtesy of Paško Tomić via flickr

image curtesy of Paško Tomić via flickr

The scene: a conference table long enough to rival a wealthy King’s feasting table during the Renaissance, ergonomic swivel chairs to support the most significant backbones of the company, a flat screen TV ready to project the most impressive graphs, and the speakerphone connecting to c-level attendees in other offices. This is where the magic happens. Here is where the most disruptive ideas are formed… Or so we’ve grown to believe. But is it true?

A study by Idea Champions showed that only 3% of the people surveyed came up with their best ideas at work, while the other 97% found their best ideas came while focused on other things – like taking a shower, washing dishes, or going for a run (source). With the best ideas growing so far from the boardroom, perhaps it’s time to develop a new model for cultivating innovation.

Google growth products like gmail, came out of what they called “20% time.” One day a week, employees were encouraged to focus on their google-related passions over their regularly scheduled work (source). Showing all employees that a major part of their job is to step outside of what has already been conceived of, and think about the future of the company increases opportunity for innovation in numbers, and in attitude. Innovation must be promoted amongst employees.

Getting from an isolated idea to an implementable plan means time for suggestion and rebuttal, for reformation and consideration. The good comes with the bad, never alone. A team of innovators needs to know that time devoted to innovations that are fond to be un-implementable and ideas that get thrown out are still a valuable use of their time.

Ancient Greek citizens debating philosophy on city steps and early American settlers discussing the establishment of town laws all understood that time to debate and develop is crucial to success. Innovation comes about in cycles. A work environment where innovation from employees of all positions is encouraged, and common needs to be well maintained. We’ve already discussed encouraging innovation from employees in all positions and the time required for a culture of innovation to bare fruit. Implementation is also important – employees won’t commit to innovation if they do not see the ideation of their peers being put into action.

Register for an upcoming webinar featuring Joe Brummer, Community Mediation, Inc., on the language behind a sustainable culture of innovation. Register for, Creating a Culture of Innovation: Communication Strategies for Innovators here.

How to Create Change with Participatory Government

 

citizen engagement

image curtesy of Matt Rife via flickr

Active citizen government has many names: citizen engagement, participatory government, and open government. The significance lies less in the name attached to the campaign, and more to making the most of this citizen focused innovation. Connecting directly to citizenry has many benefits, if you know how to effectively engage.

Improve Transparency and Accountability Publicly establishing a direct route for all citizens to connect to decision makers will greatly improve public opinion. A centralized, cloud-based forum for civic ideation is the ideal location to address the public. Accessible to members of a department or organization, a town, city, state, or nation, this forum can present issues, share data and resources, and provide a centralized location for ideation.

Innovation Sometimes getting to the most ground-breaking, disruptive, and exciting ideas requires taking a step back. Leveraging citizens is the best way to find new ways of facing problems. Legislation, regulation, and policy can all be improved through open government.

Positive and Active Polling “People around the world consistently indicate that they are not content simply to engage with government through periodic elections,” suggests the Open Government Guide. Citizens want to remain a part of government decisions, even outside of election season. Where engagement falls short, the cause can often be simple: not knowing how to participate. Through the conversation, find out what the public wants.

Before engagement is launched, there will be challenges to plan for.

Outreach Finding and connecting to your crowd will be one of the largest, and most important aspects of launching a participatory government campaign. Determine the desired output of the campaign to know which crowd to draw from:

• An internal crowd of civic employees to improve process and reduce the budget
• An external citizen crowd to innovate large scale governmental changes in any area
• A focused crowd of enthusiasts and experts coming together to discuss a focus and work together in ideating and exploring new methods before implementation

Maintaining engagement It’s important to keep participants from becoming disengaged. Success relies on maintained attention, and developed dialogue – rich data will come out of extended discussion.

From data to development Which ideas should be implemented? Should priority go to the most popular ideas? The ideas with the most discussion around them? Or do suggestions require higher level refinement?

Learn more of the potential benefits, and determine how to handle the challenges of your first citizen engagement with the IdeaScale Government Starter Package here.

The Customer-Product Relationship, in Real-Time

image curtesy of mkhmarketing via flickr

image curtesy of mkhmarketing via flickr

The internet is wallpapered with customer feedback – frustrated customers publicly tweeting complaints, exuberant followers checking the Facebook page of their favorite company, and engaged end users submitting product suggestions directly to a company’s website. Easy access enables constant communication between companies, both large and small, and their consumers.

This variety of channels to communication can be beneficial to consumers, and to companies:

Social media gives a voice to the consumer – A public space like a company’s website or their twitter can be a platform for users to share opinions and experiences with not only the makers and sellers of the product, but with other consumers.

Ease of use – Most companies curate multiple social media profiles as well as a website. Recent statistics show that 72% of internet users are active on social media, that number goes up to 89% for users between 18 and 29.

Rich feedback – Where a survey can answer important questions, and market research can yield significant findings, direct communication between a company and their end users is a conversation to rich data. Consumers can speak on any topic – not just those the company knows to be important. With this conversation occurring in on a public platform, other users can join and help develop ideas.

Improved reaction and implementation time – Which brings us to the biggest benefit to consumer and company alike: reaction time is improved when customer interactions can be received in real-time, and responded to just as quickly. When this dialogue occurs in real-time, the product, and the company can improve and grow at a faster speed.

But, with easier access comes higher expectations. From the viewpoint of the customer, posting a product suggestion to their preferred social media platform is the easiest way to give a company direct feedback. From the vantage point of that company, that page or profile is just one of many outlets that require constant monitoring. Since the speed at which an end user can contact a company has improved, the assumption is often that they’ll receive a response, and see follow-through just as quickly.

Drawing this conversation to one location that is easily accessible to both the consumers, and employees can improve on everything social media has to offer to this customer/company relationship. Some companies utilize a crowdsourced innovation platform to monitor the conversation more effectively. An innovation platform allows customers to see all ideas submitted by other customers, and add to those ideas. It allows employees from all aspects of the product company to see, and participate in the full feedback cycle.

NextGen Summit and X-Corp Thinking

Introducing_XcorpLast week was NextGen‘s 5th annual Next Generation of Government Training Summit. GovLoop and Young Government Leaders (YGS) joined together to, “educate, inspire, and promote innovation for new and rising leaders in government.” On Friday, IdeaScale CEO, Rob Hoehn, had the opportunity to give the keynote to NextGen’s eager and alert crowd of gen X and gen Yers.

So what knowledge did Hoehn want to impart on the next generation?

Legacy does not imply success:
As a well aged innovator, Rob Hoehn has seen companies begin and end, and begin and hold on… and on… and on. Just standing the test of time does not result in a good grade for a company or organization. Who benefits when a large corporation stays in the spotlight for decades by constantly changing, just to stay alive?

Mission first:
Success can only truly be measured by impact. What would happen if all companies were guided by mission, rather than profit, or longevity? Hoehn explained, on the battle field it is easy for an army to be splintered – every man for himself, how can an force be guided during battle? Commander’s intent. Commander’s intent is the heart of a battle, the strategical core established before battle begins. In essence, it is the one thing that each soldier must hold in mind, no matter what happens, each choice will now be made based on this unified mission.

X-Corp:
Hoehn dared the audience, what if we all started making career choices, mission first? What if we only enter into positions as we would battle – choosing opportunities based on a rallying mission cry, and then exiting when the mission had been accomplished? What if businesses were built mission first? The resources, the intelligence, the skills and the knowledge required all coming together to accomplish one unifying goal. And then dissolving, upon completion, rather than digging in, and holding on just for the sake of legacy.

Why open innovation?
Open innovation isn’t the future. Open innovation is the best tool we have, right now, to create a mission driven future. It allows the thinkers, the critics, and the experts to work together to form mission, objectives, and a plan.

How can an innovation platform enable X-corp thinking?
An innovation campaign is just that: a campaign. It’s focused, it has a destination, and the dialogue has depth. Activity grows around ideas that resonate, from an idea that will really change the way a department interacts in an internal community, to a new product suggestion the crowd cannot wait to experience in a consumer filled, external community. Through focused campaigns on an innovation platform, any mission can be raised and resolved, in time to start on the next.

How to Succeed in Crowdsourcing: Know Your Crowd

trymyuiCrowdsourcing has led to success in every field imaginable. Crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe allows entrepreneurs to raise the capital required for new ventures. Crowdsourcing can yield disruptive innovations or cost saving improvements to organizations and businesses of all sizes, it can be utilized to reach out to groups of citizens or customers. However, with great customizability comes the need for true optimization. You’ll need to do some strategizing before your campaign goes live.

Step 1: Find your crowd
Are you looking to your employees for ideas? Will you be crowdsourcing the public for their input? Knowing if your campaign will be internal – drawing from employees and experts within your organization, or external – reaching out to an unknown audience, will affect how your structure your site.

Step 2: Determine your data
Users can discuss, create and promote ideas but you’ll want to determine which data is relevant to your aims before you build your community.  Just like a surgeon wouldn’t take a chainsaw into an operating room, you’ll need to select the proper tools.

Step 3: Create your community
Creating an engaging campaign that inspires participation and customizing a community that makes that participation easy for your crowd are equally crucial to building the ideal community. Remember, you and your team have all the insight here – but the crowd that will be going to your innovation site and investing their time are new to it.

Step 4: Optimize for users
Ease of use will determine the amount of time and effort your participants will spend contributing. Time that could be spent voting or ideating, could easily be lost to confusing navigation. Find the rough spots by bringing new eyes in as you develop UI. Crowdsourced UI usability tester TryMyUI allows you to remotely see what your users see. Assign tasks, and observe the audio and video of sample users as they navigate through your UI. By testing out the UX pre-launch you can meta-innovate with TryMyUI users guidance, and restructure until you’ve created the best setup for your innovators.

Keeping Citizen Engagement Engaging

Starting at the national level with the Obama Administration’s open government initiative in 2009, there have been many attempts at crowdsourcing in various governments and public agencies.

From his campaign, President Obama realized that we can now scale up collaboration and participation – and create a 21st century version of the old New England Town Meetings that, while not perfect, did a pretty good job of engaging residents.

Unfortunately many of these efforts have been disappointing in various ways:

            •    Fewer people participated than expected.
            •    The forum was “hijacked by fringe groups” – this was one criticism of the early Obama open government efforts because decriminalizing Marijuana turned out to be one of the more popular proposals.  (But see my earlier post “Do Good Ideas Bubble Up From The Crowd?”)
            •    The site went stale, with early excitement evaporating and participation going to zero.  As an example, see the Texas Red Tape Challenge.
            •    Citizens were encouraged to participate and did so, only to find that their ideas were disregarded by public officials, which only increased the frustration among both citizen and officials.

Nevertheless, when they succeed, citizen engagements can satisfy several public purposes.  They are a great way to get help and new ideas, test proposals, understand priorities of voters and educate citizens about the complexities and realities of governing.  Moreover, in response to the general decline in respect for major public, nonprofit and private institutions, crowdsourcing is a way of earning back respect and trust — and convincing a skeptical public that public officials really care.  All of these benefits make it easier for public officials to govern better.

And the successes have provided important lessons.  Most important, like lots of other things, crowdsourcing requires some thought before implementation.

You won’t get the best results if you take a “just build it and they will come” approach.  At the other extreme, you can bury any government initiative in “analysis paralysis”.   A reasonable balance is to plan how public officials will:

            •    Set realistic expectations within their own organization as well as with the public;
            •    Target the appropriate audience for the discussion;
            •    Set up the topic/question in a clear, unbiased way;
            •    Start the conversation with citizens;
            •    Figure out how to manage the conversation and keep citizens engaged; and last but not least,
            •    End the engagement in a way that provides a positive experience for citizens and the government.

When these engagements actually engage citizens, they help redefine the relationship between public officials and the people they serve.  And they can provide a core of solid support from the public that any public official would desire – the kind of support that will carry officials through those bad times when they also make mistakes.

Find out about our new Government Starter Package, and launch your 1st citizen engagement campaign with IdeaScale.

Creating a Culture of Innovation: Communication Strategies for Innovators Wednesday August 27th, 2014 10:00 AM PDT – 11:00 AM PDT

Many organizations know that in order to remain relevant, they need to continuously innovate. While many groups focus on launching innovation programs, the most successful programs focus on creating a culture where innovation thrives.

Join IdeaScale and guest speaker Joe Brummer from Community Mediation, Inc. for a workshop addressing one of innovation’s most common challenges: creating a culture that is conducive to innovation and innovative ideas. Brummer introduces communication tactics that have been successfully applied in other IdeaScale innovation programs.

This presentation will address:

•  An overview of empathic communication
•  The value of empathic communication to innovation programs
•  Various workplace cultures
•  Changes that you can make in the workplace to encourage innovation

The webinar will be followed by a live Q&A.

Register today!

JoeBrummer

Joe Brummer is Associate Executive Director at Community Mediation, Inc. He has studied Nonviolent Communication with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication, was trained in mediation at the Community Mediation Center of RI, and attended the training of trainers in Kingian Nonviolence at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. He is now presenting workshops based on Nonviolent Communication and Choice Theory for organizations around New England.

Brummer has presented workshops for organizations all over New England including a recent workshop of UNESCO.  He has clocked 100s of hours at the mediation table, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Community Mediation (NAFCM).

Responding at Cloud Speed

There are numerous benefits to working in the cloud:

 the cloud scales to meet a company’s fluctuating needs,
 it allows for global collaboration,
• the cloud is far more environmentally friendly than its earth-based relatives

However, another key benefit that people often talk about is the ability to move “at cloud speed.” Cloud speed is short-hand for responding to global needs in real-time. Among numerous scenarios, it also means that the gap that used to separate end users from the developers working to create their favorite products is closing, since customers can put in a request and development teams can respond, build, and deploy solutions that update at regular intervals all around the clock.

Essentially, it means that we are able to do our best work with even greater ease. Feedback comes in live, changes go out live. And although the benefits of being so nimble, and so rapid are obvious – the slightly less obvious benefit is how it improves not just customer satisfaction, but employee satisfaction. Teams can see responses to their work in real time and benefit from the cloud-voiced appreciation as well as crowd-based suggestion.

It was this capability (and others) that SAP appreciated about utilizing IdeaScale to collaborate with their customers. Watch this video to learn how Cloud for Customer utilized IdeaScale to assemble and respond to feedback directly from within their tool.

How are you working at cloud speed?

Jump Start Your Citizen Engagement Program: Introducing the Government Starter Package

CitizenEngagement-v2-darkgreenHow can the engagement of the town meeting scale up from a couple thousand people in one location to many more? How do you hear from all the people who can’t show up for meetings, but will show up to vote on election day?

Citizen engagement programs offer numerous opportunities to new organizations that are looking to get started.

 

Benefits include:

      -    A satisfied public population
      -    Prioritized government projects
      -    Innovative new ideas
      -    Improved legislation and regulations
      -    Government trend predictions
      -    A new, virtual work force
      -    Redeemed public trust

That’s why IdeaScale is introducing the government starter package, a special offer to help municipal government agencies kick-start their first citizen engagement program.

The Government Starter Package includes:

      -    1 campaign for a public or private community
      -    Unlimited ideas, votes, and comments
      -    Mobile Optimization & Social Integration
      -    A half-day Strategy Workshop with IdeaScale’s Director of Program Development

Sign-up to learn more here!