Tag Archives: engagement

It’s All about Engagement

photo curtesy of erika via flickr

photo curtesy of erika via flickr

Crowdsourcing can result in disruptive ideas, in ideas that will improve efficiency, new product ideas, ideas with impressive return on investment. Innovation is a necessary tool for all industries, which allows any organization to reach beyond a small pool of decision makers and harness the insights and ideation of the crowd.

How can you guarantee your crowd will participate in your crowdsourcing campaign? How can you ensure engagement levels to validate the resources put in? Innovation is about shaking things up – about finding a new way to handle an old problem. Do not let that trick you into thinking it is a fully organic process, innovation takes planning.

The first step in producing engagement is defining how you’ll measure for success. In crowdsourcing there are 4 kinds of engagement:

Initial Idea: One way to measure is by how many ideas are submitted. Often number of votes is the best measure of your campaign’s reach.

Idea nurturing: Measuring engagement by how many participants comment on submissions is a more accurate measure of group ideation and idea development.

Voting: If you’re looking for the most popular votes, larger number of voters and votes cast results in more statistically reliable reports.

Number of participants: Whether they vote on only a few ideas, or submitted a dozen ideas, the number of participants reached by a campaign can be a measure of successful reach.

To engage the crowd, you must determine which crowd you’re reaching out to. There are three basic sources for crowdsourcing:

Internal and Pre-Existing: The days of the all-knowing CEO have passed, reaching out to employees – of every level, taps into a much larger

External and Pre-Existing: For organizations interested in marketability and product development ideas, the desired crowd will be customers. Let the end-user tell you what they want and why – they come fully versed and eager to share their thoughts.

External Solicitation: At the core of innovation is Henry Chesbrough’s thesis that staying competitive means capitalizing on both internal and external sources.

IdeaScale has developed an Innovation Starter Kit to assist organizations in innovation. With your parameters in place, find out how to target for engagement in our Community Engagement Tip Sheet. Download the kit here for more tips and tools on planning, establishing, and moderating your campaign.

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.

Two Prevailing Themes from Winners of Open Innovation Awards

OpenInnovationAward-winner-v4The 2013 IdeaScale Innovation Awards were designed to celebrate organizations that have demonstrated the most effective utilization of the IdeaScale solution. Each winner submitted an entry in one of the five categories: Best Engagement Strategy, Best Moderation Strategy, Wildest Innovation, Savings Expert, or Efficiency Expert.

As you know, winners in each of these categories receive a discount on their IdeaScale license for 2014 and the opportunity to fast track a feature on the IdeaScale 2014 feature roadmap (among other things).

The winners represent a diverse group of organizations, ranging from a nonprofit to a university, from a commercial business to a state IT department. In their submissions, they were asked to share an overview of their “open innovation initiative,” as well as a description of their engagement strategy.

While each of the organizations had their own unique realizations while implementing the IdeaScale solution within their communities, there were two themes that transcended and seemed overarching strategies for promoting successful innovation.

The introduction of crowdsourcing to a community necessitates a thoughtful communications and structuring plan. The Cerebral Palsy Alliance, in explaining their engagement strategy, outlined the physical changes they enacted in the workplace, creating an Innovation Space in the corporate offices. In an effort to foster a new ethos of innovation and collaboration, they also incorporated verbiage reflecting such into the job descriptions of each of their staff members. The State of Minnesota’s Information Technology agency emphasized the importance of crafting strong network promotions and establishing infrastructure prior to the launch of the campaign. Yale University ITS stated, “Becoming a more innovative organization means changing the culture.”

The second, and perhaps the most poignant, of these similarities was the capacity to engage and provide agency to network members. As these winners have learned, the more that you are able to allow constituents to contribute in a way in which they can see the results, the more invested they feel in the choices that are made. This refers to both the allowance to suggest changes, as well as the ability to express opinions on others’ ideas. Moreover, when all community members are made to feel heard, authentic conversations can begin, and from that comes true collaborative and innovative ideas.

We can see the evidence of this so clearly in the numbers from University of North Carolina-Wilmington, who related that in the 2012-2013 school year, “more than 4,000 users cast over 5,200 votes and posted 813 comments on 94 ideas submitted by faculty and staff.” The ideas that were submitted at Marriott Vacations Worldwide, through The Idea Depot, resulted in an idea being implemented which is projected to save the company over $100,000.

You can find out more about the 2013 Innovation Award winners here. 

Managing for Success: Best Practices in Open Innovation – In Conversation with guests Forrester and Yale

newsflashJoin IdeaScale for a comprehensive exploration on how to best organize an open innovation community on Friday, January 24th, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Hosted by IdeaScale and featuring Chip Gliedman of Forrester Research and Yale University’s IT Innovation Alignment Team, this conversation explores innovation best practices in a broad view, but also in practice within an IdeaScale community.  In the discussion, the speakers will address questions like:

-Is innovation best when wide open and boundless or should such programs be more targeted?
-Who are the key players in an innovation program?
-What defines successful engagement within a community?
-What are some tactics for improving ideation engagement?
-And much, much more.

An Introduction to the Speakers:

Chip Gliedman is a vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research and serves CIOs. His research focuses on IT investment strategies, justifying technology investments, IT portfolio management, business technology (BT) alignment, and IT satisfaction. Chip developed the Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) model and program to help clients quantify and communicate the financial value of technology investments and strategies.

Yale ITs The Innovation Alignment Team is composed of Lou Rinaldi, Bryan Kazdan, and Karen Polhemus. They are collectively charged with providing leadership, technical expertise, ambassadorship, and metrics reporting in the field of Yale IT innovation. This team is focused on leading innovative programs.

Register Today!

Innovation Awards Close This Friday

4644949351_8623acd99d_oIdeaScale announced the 2013 Open Innovation Awards in August and after several months, applications, questions, truly strange stories and stranger requests, the period for sharing is almost over. The Innovation Awards submission period ends this Friday at midnight and any applications received after that will not be reviewed.

The journey doesn’t end there. In fact, for IdeaScale the work has only just begun. We’re going to compare some truly compelling, but remarkably unique stories to find out who the leaders are in engagement, moderation, change, savings, and efficiency.  A reminder of what the calendar looks like in the coming month.

8 November: The Awards Submission Period Closes (and a truly cumbersome week of review awaits us as we review tons of applications).

15 November: The finalists are notified and begin the tedious process of waiting until the awards ceremony to know who the final winners are.

13 December: The winners are notified at the awards ceremony and arrangements are made for the winners to receive their spoils.

The point is: don’t miss your chance. Applications are due by Friday and entrants can potentially win a discounted 2014 IdeaScale license, the ability to fast track an IdeaScale 2014 feature, and the chance to win a trip to Hawaii. So tell your story with lots of detail and a few measurable results and we look forward to seeing you at the awards ceremony in December.

Any other last minute advice? We look forward to reading your submissions.

Open Innovation Awards: 3 Things We’re Looking For

gift-bannerThe deadline to submit Open Innovation Awards is almost upon us (November 8th) and we’re truly looking forward to reviewing some compelling stories and sharing some new best practices. But for those of you who aren’t sure what it is we’ll be looking at as we select the finalists, let me offer you some insight.

As they review a wealth of applications and different approaches to innovation, the judges will be looking for:

1. Innovative Thinking. Surprise, surprise. We want our innovators to be as unique as the solutions that we’re looking for. We want to be surprised and we believe some of the best innovators are going to be offering us unexpected new approaches to a relatively time-honored process.

2. Repeatable Processes. Just because it’s unique, doesn’t meant that it can’t be applied elsewhere. This simply means that the recipe for success has a step by step approach that you could share with someone else.

3. Measurable Data. This key aspect will help us see the value regardless of community, goals, or industry – this aspect will truly help us compare and learn more from the past two years of IdeaScale implementations.

But enough about us. Be sure to submit your open innovation award application today.

What do you want to learn from the Innovation Awards? What else should we be looking for?

4 Tips for Submitting Innovation Awards Content: Deadline One Month Away

innovationawardThe deadline for entering the IdeaScale Innovation Awards is now just one month away with all entries from IdeaScale users due by November 8th, 2013. We’ve been receiving some truly interesting stories from some great users, but for those of you who have yet to full out an entry form, we’ve got a few tips for you as you go through the application process.

1. Share Your Process. Think of the application as a recipe that you’re sharing with a trusted friend. We need to know how you got to success each step of the way. We need to know when you added what and in what order so that we can not only verify, but learn from and share what makes for a good innovation lifecycle. It’s not just about the outcome, it’s about how you got there.

2. God Is In the Details. Remember that the most colorful and memorable applications are the ones that share the quirks and idiosyncracies of their innovation programs. We’ll remember the folks that created an operatic serenade played at the beginning and end of every shift to encourage people to submit ideas to an open innovation campaign, so we want to know about the beginning and end of every shift.

3. Measure Twice, Report Once. We love metrics, we love measurable results and research. Have you seen our infographics? This is something that you’re going to want to bring to your application. How much time did you save? How much more engagement did you see? What doubled? Tripled? What did you cut in half? And what were those numbers. Bringing this to your application is going to help us compare apples and oranges and our judges appreciate companies that love tracking as much as we do.

4. Tell a Story. The more we understand the narrative that brought the whole thing together, the more we’ll be able to understand the profound impact that it’s had on a larger organization that’s probably very different from our own. Leading us from the “once upon a time” to the “happily ever after” is a journey we hope you enjoy writing as much as we enjoy taking it with you.

Enough advice. Share your story with us today.

What are some other application tips? What do you think of the Innovation Awards applications?

4 Reasons Why We Started the Innovation Awards

categoriesLast month, IdeaScale announced it’s first year of Innovation Awards.  In this competition, IdeaScale users who have achieved tangible results in the categories of engagement strategy, moderation strategy, wild innovation, savings, and efficiency will be honored for their achievements.

How will they be honored you ask? Well, winners in each category will receive a discount on their 2014 IdeaScale license

1. Technology is just the beginning. We realized at IdeaScale that it’s not enough to have great software, you need to have a great team. Many of the most successful IdeaScale implementations have a sophisticated set of people powering them and we wanted a forum to honor that kind of commitment.

2. We want our users to be able to brag. Look, our IdeaScale users – they’re kind of awesome people who are doing really interesting work and we want them to be able to brag about it. So now we’re giving them their own badge. We’re gamifying what it means to be an IdeaScale user. We want them to walk with swagger.

3. Too many great stories. We hear a lot of great stories from our customers as we do case studies, get feedback, or talk to our support teams and we wanted a way to collect some of this information. As the stories and feedback amassed, we realized that the conversation was bigger than any one company and we wanted to find a way to organize all of this great information proactively.

4. Opportunity to learn. All of these great stories, they’re just great opportunities to learn. If some of our best engagers and moderators can tell us their secret sauce, maybe others will be able to repeat it and we’ll all get better at creating the next generation of innovation.

So now you know. And knowing is… well, you get the idea. Just go share your story as part of our innovation awards and get the opportunity to reap the benefits.

What are some of your favorite open innovation implementations? What else should we receive an award?

Partner Spotlight: Peoplerise on a World without Creative Boundaries

alessandro2Peoplerise has a mission to build engaged and high-performance organizations. Now Peoplerise has joined IdeaScale’s partner network and is applying IdeaScale in some new and interesting ways. IdeaScale had the opportunity to chat with Alessandro Rossi and asked him to answer a few questions. You can learn more about Peoplerise and IdeaScale below.

IdeaScale: Tell me about yourself and your role at Peoplerise.
Alessandro Rossi: A warm “hello” to the IdeaScale community and thanks for this interview. I’m a management consultant with a deep passion for helping people and organizations learn and move forward at Peoplerise. I’ve always been a sort of marketing “geek” and that’s probably why I see a strong connection between the marketing and  people management fields. In the end, both customers and employees are “People”, and as we say in our Peoplerise payoff: people will always be essential! That’s why, among other tasks, I’m also in charge of constantly scouting easy tech tools that bring customers approaches in the internal field of the organization: employees.

IS: What separates Peoplerise from other consultancies?
AR: We are internally organized in an innovative way that allow us to deliver continuous innovation to our clients. We have no hierarchy, we’re a hub of brains and we see leadership as a way to boost the individual and collective creativity. That’s why we can offer cutting-edge solutions that incorporate all the new trends such as big data, gamification, crowdsourcing. These are all generated in line with our core values: love, vision, design, simplicity, execution, easy tech. And that’s where IdeaScale comes in!

IS: What does it mean to prioritize engagement AND performance?
AR: That’s the basic assumption of our innovation. We see in the business world two typical patterns: on one hand we see projects just focused on performance, forgetting the roots from which performance grows; on the other hand, we’ve seen too many approaches in the people management consultancy just focused on engagement.  It’s linking the two objectives and having constant attention to engagement and performance on an individual, team and organizational level, in order to drive sustainable, long-lasting results.  Every piece of innovation we create must balance both engagement and performance. It’s like a farmer: you need and you’re expected to deliver a new plant (performance), but your work is improving the quality of the invisible soil (engagement) by working on the visible topsoil that link the two.

IS: How do you see your clients using IdeaScale?
AR: We have an “agile” approach where the importance of co-creating the “new” with all people involved in change is central to project success. We see IdeaScale as a great tool to help organizations in prototyping and co-creating the “new” with their employees, focusing, of course, on both engagement and performance.

IS: What do you think the future of collaborative digital engagement will be?
AR: I have no sure answers for this! I think that the world all around us is in a deep pattern of transformation and we’re entering  an era in which all  three words you mentioned are fundamental: “collaborative,” “digital,” and “engagement.” We are moving through a change that will probably view the customers as partners for innovation and employees as more of a creative class rather than just an operative one. Collaboration will probably happen out of the organizational boundaries linking all People in a world made of employees and customers all together: employees will be customers, customers will be employees.

To learn more about Peoplerise, visit their website.
For more information on the IdeaScale partner program, click here.