Category Archives: IdeaScale

5 Apps to Maximize Your Time While Working on the Go

Mobile business

Today we have a guest post by Jennifer Robinson. As a stay at home mom, entrepreneur, and PR consultant, Jennifer knows how to make the most of a busy schedule.

It’s not enough to manage, lead and inspire. Today’s entrepreneurs must be savvy accountants, networking gurus, and smooth salesmen. Well-run businesses rely on a jack-of-all-trades approach to operations. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that more than half a million new businesses open each month. Competing with the growing market of entrepreneurs leaves no room for complacency. It’s important to stay on top of everything, even once you’re established. The latest apps adapt to your dynamic schedule so you can take on the world from your smartphone.

Note to Self

Big ideas seldom arise from stale environments. Those few moments when pen and paper are in-hand do nothing for the creative spirit. On-the-go innovators find inspiration through sights and sounds of their ever-changing surroundings. Stop letting great ideas fall through the cracks. With Evernote, users can store, organize, and share their texts, photos, and voice notes so nothing is ever forgotten. Better yet, the app syncs with your devices so you can find important information from your tablet, desktop and smartphone.

Team Work

Remember the days of solo entrepreneurship? Self-accountability took a certain amount of tenacity, organization, and determination. Now that you’ve built a powerhouse of like-minded colleagues, switch gears to a leadership state of mind. Hold your team to the same standards and encourage a culture of accountability. With the Asana app, users can manage tasks, organize emails, and track team collaboration. Save time spent reading emails, attending meetings and analyzing status reports. By staying connected with your team, you’ll be up-to-date with deadlines, completed tasks, and project progress.

Social Butterfly

Of all the day-to-day operations you oversee, social media is likely the most time consuming of them all. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—the list goes on and on. Managing your business’ social life is a full-time job. Luckily, Hootsuite provides a one-stop shop for social account management. It schedules messages, monitors conversations and tracks analytics. Your audience expects to hear from you daily. Keep in touch each day without spending hours socializing online. Schedule advanced posts in a single sitting so you can set it and move on with your business.

Get Paid

For creatives, money matters rank low on the priority scale. Being an innovator is about bringing ideas to life, not bookkeeping. At the end of the day, getting paid is what keeps your dream alive and growing. Keeping up with your financials doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. With Intuit, you can accept payments and track invoices on the go. This app syncs with QuickBooks to do the bookkeeping for you, taking the hassle out of billing and collections.

Stay Connected

Gain traction by nurturing both personal and professional network connections. A stack of business cards tossed on your desk won’t do much for relationship building. Keep your connections in the palm of your hand with CardMunch by LinkedIn. From the app, you can snap a picture of a business card and the information is converted to a contact on your smartphone. You’ll also have access to contacts from your LinkedIn profile to help grow your professional network.

IdeaScale Is Always Evolving, The Crowd is Always Collaborating

5162224869_52c70e9861_oWhich is why our idea management solution looks a lot different today than it did even a year ago. We’re looking to find new ways to get organizations to talk with their networks and to make real change a collaborative, ongoing process.

We believe that it’s not just ideation that is a shared responsibility and process, but idea vetting, refinement, and resource allocation, as well. Over the course of the past year, IdeaScale has developed numerous new features that support collaboration on the back end of innovation, as well.

It seems logical to assume that if removing limits from ideation can help present new ideas or findings, then broadening the scope of who is involved in the refinement process can also help introduce new solutions for implementation or new practices for introducing change into an organization.

IdeaScale’s product roadmap is driven by numerous inputs, but one of the principles we are always trying to align to is “making crowd-collaboration easy at every stage of innovation.” And that’s part of what has driven our focus over the course of the past year and introduced a great deal of new functionality into the IdeaScale platform.

If you’d like to see some of these new features at work, then join IdeaScale’s complimentary webinar “It’s Raining Features! A Tour of IdeaScale’s Latest Functionality” on Wednesday, March 19th at 10 a.m. PDT. Register today.

How to Make the Most of Your Trip to SXSW

sxsw1We know you’ll be working hard at SXSW, and your dance card is already filling up. You’re a marketing maven, a conquistador of connections, and a member of the innovation intelegencia, but please, leave some time in your schedule to stray from the beaten path. You never know when the best ideas will come to you. In the spirit of always keeping an eye out for innovation and opportunity, we’ve found some events you might have missed- they might be the spark that ignites your best idea yet.

1. Grab a partner and become the hero of your office by winning the SXSW Ping Pong Tournament. Sign up now, the tournament starts on Friday the 7th!

2. In, ‘Reddit, You’re Doing it Wrong,’ Rohit Thawani and Garrett Tillman will teach you how to use Reddit’s crowd and content to improve your business. Don’t let Reddit let you down. These two marketing and strategy experts will show you how to tackle Reddit and come out on top.

3. SXSW keeping you up all night? Check in at the Late Night Saloon to keep the conversation and connections flowing.

4. Filmmaker’s Pre-Fest Pitches let’s filmmakers promote their films directly to their target audience. Hear first hand why you should check out some upcoming films, and take notes on how passionate creators market their work.

5. Attend any part of the SXSW: Create event and you will see into the future. From smart-phone controlled nancopters to laser engraving and e-textiles, these innovators are changing the technological landscape one idea at a time.

IdeaScale will be at SXSW March 7th-11th. RSVP to meet up with us!

5 Innovation Events at SXSW That You Really Shouldn’t Miss

sxsw2IdeaScale is packing up, and heading to SXSW! We hope you are as excited as we are to get together and talk innovation. Of course you’ll come to see our event:  Democracy Took Over My Government, Now What?, but what else should you check out this year at SXSW? We’ve compiled a list of the 5 Innovation Events that we’re most excited about. Tell us in the comments what you’ll be filling your SXSW visit with.

1.  Check out James McQuivey in “Digital Disruption, Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation.”  McQuivey will be reading excerpts from his book Digital Disruption, and digging into what the state of our digital world means for your business’s success.

2. “OMMA: Should Brands Be Part of the Real-Time Convo?” will explore recent shifts in brand marketing. How quickly is Brand Marketing evolving ? Does the personification of a brand through a carefully customized marketing campaign build a stronger following?

3. Outdated technology has kept internet access limited to easy to control environments like US office buildings. Learn how this team of innovators turned desktop, office-ware into BRCK- internet access for the rest of the world.

4. In “The Power of Public Thinking,” author Clive Thompson will show you how our daily communications shape our thought process. He’ll explain how “public thinking” through tweets, Instagram comments, and all the rest actually help us solve the big problems.

5. You can streamline your office, and improve your product, but your employees are your most valuable asset. John Hagel will talk about applying design thinking and methodologies to developing your team. Training isn’t only for new employees, but what would a perpetual educationally nurturing office look like? How can you capitalize on the experience of those inside and outside of your office to give your staff the best tools in their development?

We’re going to be at SXSW March 7th through 11th, and we’d love to see you!
RSVP to meet up with IdeaScale there.

The Top 5 New Features!

2842301423_26c606dc56_oIdeaScale prides itself on being a flexible and unique tool that helps numerous companies meet their innovation goals (however disparate the programs might be – from new product development to sustainability planning). To that end, we’ve continued to grow our platform in tandem with the latest innovation practices and needs across all industries.

This means that our product has benefited from numerous enhancements over the course of the past year, but it might also mean that maybe you haven’t been able to see the full end-to-end magic that makes business decision making even easier.

Which is why IdeaScale is an offering a review of things that you might have missed – the highlights of our year (so to speak) in our complimentary webinar: It’s Raining Features! A Tour of IdeaScale’s Latest Functionality.

Here’s a list of our top five features from 2013 that we’ll be showcasing in the webinar (but this is just the beginning – don’t worry – we’ll cover more):

Custom Workflow:
Want to make the idea lifecycle more lightweight? If you use custom workflow, you can automatically begin routing promising or popular ideas to the next stage.

Assessment Tool:
IdeaScale believes that the innovation market is moving towards involving the crowd at every phase of the lifecycle so that good ideas are verified and refined. The assessment tool makes this possible.

Pairwise Comparison:
A great gut check tool or way to simplify the prioritization process. If you haven’t used the pairwise comparison tool yet, you might want the chance to see it in action.

Pre-Defined Tags:
Everyone’s always looking for new lightweight methods of guiding the conversation. Pre-defining tags allows users to distill conversation within the appropriate categories easily using the same language.

Idea Ownership:
Building teams and making people accountable for new ideas is the best way to see those ideas through to completion. Idea ownership can be a singular or collaborative effort. Learn how in our webinar.

What new features would you like to hear about? Tell us and register for the webinar today.

It’s Raining Features! A Tour of IdeaScale’s Latest Functionality

3776946155_e812869823_oFor those of you that want to ensure success for 2014’s innovation programs, IdeaScale is offering a complimentary webinar review of all IdeaScale new features on Wednesday, March 19th at 10am PDT.

Hosted by IdeaScale and featuring Audrey Zuro, Director of New Business, this conversation will include a tour of IdeaScale new features and their benefits. This includes custom workflow, pairwise comparison, challenge-modeled innovation and more.

The benefits of such programs can include
• increased engagement
• higher quality submissions
• innovation program efficiencies
• and much more.

In addition, Zuro will briefly discuss previews of other features that are in the works for the rest of 2014.

Join us and register for this complimentary webinar today.

Employee Engagement & Satisfaction – Redefined

Hey – I wanted to send you a quick note on a webinar we are putting together to launch our latest employee engagement and satisfaction measurement tool – FlashLet. This is as much a of a new concept as it is a software offering – a ridiculously simple way to measure, track and react to how employees feel on a weekly basis.

We are calling this tool FlashLet. We are organizing a launch webinar tomorrow (Thursday) at 11AM PST / 2PM EST. We’ve been piloting this concept with a few companies here in Seattle as well as other startups in the Bay Area and San Diego. The response has been very positive so far and we’ll be sharing the high level results of our pilots so far.

I would love for you to join the webinar tomorrow : Link below:

http://news.surveyanalytics.com/employee-temperature-webinar

BTW – Two cool things we are planning on doing :

a) We’ll be giving out a 10 free copies of “High Performance Management” – by Andy Grove (Intel Co-Founder) – I’ve been really fascinated by OKR’s and radical transparency concepts recently. I highly recommend that book…

b) After the webinar we will all jump into a live discussion / conversation where you can get feedback and talk to the CEO’s of 3 of the companies / partners we’ve piloted FlashLet with already. The CEO’s of IdeaScale, QuestionPro and of course SurveyAnalytics itself will be there to participate in the conversation!

Thanks and have a great evening…

-Vivek Bhaskaran

3 Questions to Form a Blueprint for Open Innovation

3770015203_e148607973_oThere are many different kinds of innovation programs. Open innovation is based on the principles elucidated by Henry Chesbrough; the concept of open innovation postulates that there are no barriers to collaboration, communication, innovation, or ideation. The success of these programs often depend on knowing each program and its goals in advance. To understand what kind of innovation programs might be best fitted to a particular company, some of those questions include:

1. What are the key goals of the program? Obviously, the process of innovation can impact many bottom lines. Is a company most interested in generating new revenue and cost savings, or is it interested in discovering program efficiencies, or working to develop new products and offerings. The list of things that a company can innovate on seems to be endless.

2. Who are the key players in the innovation program? Is everyone down to the janitor included or is there a special, dedicated innovation group within the company? Sometimes even special short-term committees are developed on an ad hoc basis. Deciding how much a company is willing to invest helps companies find the line between short term and ongoing innovation.

3. Should the crowd be invited to contribute to open innovation or should the contributing voices be limited to a small group of participants? Defining what group is being invited to contribute helps broaden the possible participation in any given engagement. Asking an audience with relevant knowledge or rolling the dice and asking as broad a group as possible – both can have valuable rewards.

These questions, of course, only lay the groundwork. They generate further questions that need more particular and personal answers. Questions like:

-What are the metrics that define program success? Is it about the number of members who contributed or number of ideas implemented? This is often related to the specific goals that have already been defined.

-How often should a company communicate with the group and in what way? Some companies communicate every day, some every two weeks. Some only encourage their moderators to comment on existing ideas, others think that the pot should be stirred by adding new ideas of their own on a regular basis.

-What is the process of moderation and implementation? Obviously innovation only begins by collecting inspiration from the crowd, from there it is crucial to begin making good on those changes. This requires a whole range of skills: communications, marketing, project management, prototyping , and much, much more.

If you’d like to know more about open innovation and the best practices that develop around a successful innovation program, feel free to join guests Chip Gliedman from Forrester Research and the Yale Innovation Team as they discuss what programs and processes have worked in various contexts in tomorrow’s complimentary webinar. Register today.