Tag Archives: IdeaScale

Innovating with COSTAR: Converting Ideas Into Business Plans

What happens when you have an idea, but what you need is a value proposition?

The process of nurturing an idea from its first inspiration into something that can be pitched in Silicon Valley requires planning, refinement, and careful consideration. Thankfully, the Enterprise Development Group is a team of expert thinkers, facilitators and trainers who have been consulting since 1986 who have also developed a template for businesses to refine their ideas. The template is called CO-STAR.

Join IdeaScale in this exclusive webinar that explores the CO-STAR approach from concept to execution with guest speakers from EDG and the BBC. The webinar will include

•  An overview of CO-STAR and its use in developing market-worthy ventures

•  A demonstration of CO-STAR within an innovation management program

•  A summary of how CO-STAR was applied at BBC

The webinar will include a live Q&A with the speakers. Join us and register for this complimentary webinar set to take place on Tuesday, October 21st at 9 a.m. PST today!

Speakers Include:

Herman Gyr, Founding Partner, EDG

Rob Hoehn, CEO, IdeaScale

Pat Younge, Former Chief Creative Officer, BBC

Successful Citizen Engagement Tuesday, September 30th, 1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. EST

image curtesy of lee wright via flickr

image curtesy of lee wright via flickr

There is a growing trend of involving the crowd in public decision making. This practice has already been proven out in the private sector, where crowdsourcing has been used to solve longstanding issues, ranging from suggested feature improvements for mobile applications to reducing maternal mortality with technology.

The idea of involving the public isn’t new, But with the changing role of a public town hall, one has to ask “How can the engagement of the town meeting scale up from a couple thousand people standing in one location to many more than that?” or “How do you hear from the many people who can’t show up for meetings, but will show up to vote on election day and decide who’s doing a good job?”

To answer these questions, IdeaScale is offering a webinar on September 30, featuring Norm Jacknis, Director of Program Development, to review:

8 key reasons to engage citizens:

• Strategic things to consider to ensure a successful citizen dialogue
• Some interesting and thought provoking examples of citizen engagement
• The webinar will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Join us and register for this complimentary webinar today!

Change My World in One Minute

WCPD14_Logo_USA_HRRight now 17 million people around the world are living with Cerebral Palsy. Of the children living with CP:

      •  1 in 4 cannot talk
      •  1 in 3 cannot walk
      •  1 in 2 have an intellectual disability
      •  1 in 4 have epilepsy

It’s inconceivable, right? Not to the those 17 million, and not the 350 million people who are close to an adult or child with CP. That enormous crowd is at the base of the World Cerebral Palsy Day challenge: Change My World in One Minute.

This challenge has four stages, making it easy for anyone – hopefully everyone – to participate. The challenge is simple: submit a written or video, that takes a minute or less to watch or read, idea for how to improve the lives of people with CP.

      •  Stage 1: Idea Submission and Most Creative Prizes
Anyone can submit: those with CP, the people who know and love them, innovators and experts. Ideas are accepted through the end of October 2014. Apple iPads will be given out to the most innovative and creative ideas as spot prizes.

      •  Stage 2: Voting and People’s Choice Award
Voting begins October 1st and ends October 31st 2014. The participant whose idea gets the most votes in October will win the People’s Choice $500 Award.

      •  Step 3: Judging
A panel of experts made up of innovation specialists, individuals with CP and family members will review all submitted ideas. Their short list will be publicized on January 20th, 2015.

      •  Step 4: Invent It
Inventors, researchers and innovators are all welcomed to create prototypes and designs of solutions to the short listed ideas. Winners of the $30,000 prize pool are announced on July 20th, 2015.

This is the 3rd Change My World Challenge issued. In years past winners thought up a solar powered wheelchair – that was built during the Invent It! stage and a customizable walker – built for function AND style. Idea submission is already open, and drawing some great ideas already, including a portable ramp, a preschool revamped to meet the needs of kids with CP, and some really inventive mobility concepts.

Participation on any level will help make the lives of those with CP easier, and more fulfilling. An idea, a vote, or even a social media share for this event will increase awareness, and grow the crowd of innovators. A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the non-profit organization with the most clients, family members, staff, and allies participating.

So get in there and submit your best ideas. Don’t forget to celebrate World CP Day on October 1st by wearing green, spreading the world, and returning to the community to vote for the most innovative, most exciting, most life changing ideas.

Announcing the Second Annual Open Innovation Awards

For the second year in a row IdeaScale is hosting a competition among innovators: The Open Innovation Awards. This annual contest is a way to honor the IdeaScale communities that demonstrate their exceptional innovation best practices.

The specific rules and eligibility are posted at ideascale.com/innovation-award, but the contest is open to IdeaScale members, administrators, and moderators that can demonstrate a community’s expertise in the areas of engagement, moderation, or delivery.

All entrees are due by November 14th, 2014 and must be submitted online with the application completed in a single sitting. For an advance copy of all application questions, contact jessica.day@ideascale.com. Finalists will be selected by December. Final winners will be announced before the holidays in mid-December.

Winners will receive an Apple iPad Mini, a discount on their 2015 IdeaScale subscription and a stylized and shareable press packet. All winners will also have the ability to fast track an IdeaScale feature for 2015 and be able to activate one of the higher-end features free of charge.

And if you’re interested in seeing more from last year’s winners, check out their stories here:

    •  Yale
    •  Marriott
    •  UNCW
    •  State of Minnesota
    •  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance

If you’d like to nominate a community to become a winner in this year’s IdeaScale Open Innovation Awards, please visit our site!

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.

Culture First, Innovation Second: 3 Tips to Better Work Culture

image curtesy of chris meller via flickr

image curtesy of chris meller via flickr

Every organization that looks to build a sustained innovation program has to develop an in-house innovation methodology, adopt innovation software, and build a great team, but it also has to create a culture of innovation designed to get the results that they’re looking for. And it’s no surprise that companies with a poor culture, generate poor results. The sad fact of the matter is that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail.

So savvy innovation leaders sometimes begin by building a better innovation culture. They design better methods of communication, better workplace policies, and new modes of collaboration. If you’re someone who’s looking to impact innovation culture, here are three ways to get started:

Build in Time for Free Play:
Great ideas always seem to come at the oddest times, brushing your teeth, driving in the car, taking a jog. Everyone likes to point out that some of the market leaders are doing just this. 3M and Google offered their employees that celebrated “20% Time” to try out new ideas outside of their job description. This freedom of schedule allows for more elastic thinking and a broader team mentality.

Give up Rewards:
When we really take a look at what motivates creative individuals, we see the research tells us to get away from carrots and sticks – rewards and punishments. While these concepts “work,” it isn’t in the way you’d think.  To truly create a culture of innovation research tells us: skip the gimmicks and move towards needs-based cultures.  Author Dan Pink laid out the three needs to focus on in his book, Drive: The Truth About What Motivates Us. When we focus on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose employees have the freedom to do great work and the support and skills to maintain it. Meaningful work requires internal rather than external motivation.

Train Team Members to Communicate More Effectively:
Participating in open innovation requires at least a modicum of trust from participants: trust in the program, trust in the administrators, trust in the rest of the community. Much of this trust is generated by the way the community perceives those participants, based on how they communicate. Working to communicate empathically and build that language into the workplace is important.

IdeaScale knows that one of the largest hurdles to overcome in building an innovative culture is managing communication. That’s why IdeaScale is offering a complimentary webinar about Creating a Culture of Innovation that is focused on communication strategies for innovators. Register for our August 27th webinar here.

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?

3 Reasons to Use Crowdsourcing to Innovate Your University

As facilities for research and education, universities must remain current to prosper and draw the best students and staff. In order to eclipse the competition, a university must be constantly innovating, finding the most efficient, most effective methods. With a dedicated, internal crowd of intelligent, eager individuals, crowdsourcing is the ultimate cost saving, renewable resource for growth.

1. Including students and staff in the dialogue on growth will foster a feeling of University pride around campus. Recently the University of Portsmouth, an institution of over 20,000 students in Portsmouth, England, ran a crowdsourced campaign open to their full staff and student body through IdeaScale. A video issued by the organizers encouraged participation with professors proclaiming, “Share your ideas, they’re as good as mine.” Check out the positive feedback and support garnered from the campaign in University of Portsmouth wrap up video here.

2. Colleges and universities have requirements to meet before implementing any proposed ideas. A crowdsourcing platform, such as IdeaScale, will bring all ideas into one easy to monitor and analyze forum. Participators can vote and comment on these ideas, building a case through quantifiable data. Ideas with implementation potential can be explored within the crowd before presentation to decision makers.

3. It works – whether you’re looking to set the course for the future of your university or cut the budget, your staff and students can provide the answers. Thanks to their campaign, Paul Hayes is confident the University of Portsmouth now has a defined vision for the future, a way to get there, and can, “clearly articulate to the world who we are and what we stand for.” The University of Calgary aimed their IdeaScale campaign at budget reduction. Within the 200+ ideas submitted by staff and students, the university found the potential for millions of dollars in savings. To find out more about their success, download the case study here.

4 Advantages of Online Citizen Engagement

image curtesy of UWW ResNet via flickr

image curtesy of UWW ResNet via flickr

Civic engagement is an age-old democratic concept: getting regular people to participate on an individual or collective level in order to direct the government. It’s also a mandate at almost every level and (at this point) a basic public expectation.

But the tool set is changing from having town hall meetings and rooting through suggestion boxes, to a more social and collaborative set of digital tools that can be accessed anywhere, at any time. Think about it: while voting turnout has shown a downturn, engagement on Twitter has skyrocketed. This has happened for a number of reasons, including a vast difference in content that users are engaging with, but there are also a number of advantages offered by crowd-based, digital platforms that present ease and opportunities to both citizens and organizations.

A 2010 study found that 48% of adult internet users have looked to engage with a public policy or issue online. That number equates to millions upon millions of people who have suggestions to offer, solutions to propose, and valuable insight that could change the course of policy and governing for the better. With crowdsourcing, not only can they share these ideas, but they can vote and comment on the ideas of others and help define the next generation of government.

What’s more, they can do it and offer four distinct advantages over traditional methods of content collection:

Low Cost: In-person meetings, arduous processes of managing hard copy suggestions lead to high costs for the government. Introducing a digital collaboration system for suggestion offers a significant savings to government organizations and the taxpayer.

Rapid Response: Because organizations can receive, parse and forward suggestions so quickly in a digital environment, it is also possible to improve delivery efficiency. Numerous IdeaScale and Ideavibes projects have cut the typical implementation cycle in half.

Transparency: Not only does it make government projects visible, it also allows for collaboration and participation. Citizens can solve one another’s problems, become a resource for another, and stay in contact as each idea progresses.

Expanding Reach: Numerous government organizations utilize crowdsourced citizen engagement solutions like IdeaScale not only to gather ideas, but also to get the word out about different government initiatives and source new advocates for new policies.

If you’d like to learn more about how a crowdsorucing campaign might benefit your organization, please download this white paper by Paul Dombowsky, Founder of Ideavibes and crowd expert, who will explain the potential applications of a crowd campaign.