Tag Archives: IdeaScale

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!


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.

Engaging Citizens for Positive Change: Ideavibes Introduces IdeaScale May 28th, 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. PST

Ideavibes introduces IdeaScaleIn every government, at every level, the collective actions of citizen groups are enhancing community participation, spurring change, and promoting transparency. With the advent of collaborative media and social networks, it is even easier to benefit from the actions of the engaged crowd along with the additional advantages of meeting these goals more rapidly, at a lower cost, while enhancing overall messaging capabilities.

Hosted by IdeaScale and featuring Paul Dombowsky, founder of Ideavibes, and Audrey Zuro, from IdeaScale’s Innovation Account Development Team, this complimentary webinar will include:

  • an introduction to the opportunities presented by crowdsourced citizen engagement
  • methods of handling crowd challenges
  • functionality within the IdeaScale platform that facilitates the rapid deployment of citizen engagement programs.

In addition, attendees will be invited to participate in a live question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Join us and register for this complimentary webinar today.

IdeaScale Tools for Idea Evaluation

Last week, IdeaScale hosted a webinar with Totem’s Suzan Briganti about methods of evaluating ideas against something other than votes. Although voting and ratings can be an important tool in gaining additional information about what makes an idea valuable, there are numerous ways of structuring and understanding ideas that can help organizations build out their innovation pipeline.

In order to offer some suggestions for how IdeaScale admins can adapt IdeaScale to achieve the tasks that Suzan Briganti outlined in her presentation, we’ve put together a short tour of IdeaScale functionality that will help admins begin the job of prepping ideas for ReviewScale evaluation.

1. Identify Emerging Themes
As ideas begin to come in, it is possible to start articulating themes and then tagging ideas against that pre-defined set of information. This helps identify ideas that meet particular needs and  helps cluster those ideas for evaluation. Developing pre-defined tags and adding them to ideas can happen at any time during the ideation process and beyond.

Learn more about how to set-up pre-defined tags in this short video tutorial.

2. Develop Insights
Insights can be highly useful in helping deliver solutions and in bringing clarity to market research teams. Insights can capture functional problems or emotional ones and have even larger, more complex collective implications to consider.  It is possible to take any promising idea that is pointing at a particular pain point and allowing writers to edit that idea and create an insight.


3. Testing Crowd Ideas
Refining ideas against specific, templated criteria helps to test ideas for relevance, deliverability, and the role they might play in the development of a company. Suzan Briganti suggested a particular template that includes a name, visual, insight, benefit, reason to believe, price reference, and a tagline. Any idea can be edited to include these elements after submission and before final ReviewScale evaluation by any moderator with permission. This means that every idea is measured against the same set of criteria in the final stages. However, it is also possible to set the template at the outset of any challenge so that all idea submitters are sharing their ideas with this criteria in mind. All of these conditions can be added from the administrator view on the back end.


These are just a few of the ways that IdeaScale’s flexible platform can be adapted to parse both qualitative and quantitative information in order to build a sustainable innovation pipeline. If you want to learn more about IdeaScale functionality and how ReviewScale can help prioritize promising ideas, please tune into next month’s webinar.

We’d also be glad to answer any other questions about how to utilize IdeaScale for other programs, as well. Feel free to contact us at any time.

What Does it Mean to “Manage Innovation?”


image curtesy of derek bruff via flickr

image curtesy of derek bruff via flickr

There are numerous types of innovation – from incremental and research innovation to disruptive or breakthrough innovation. But for any organization that is working to create a sustainable innovation environment within their company, there is a level of innovation management involved in the process. And although“management” sometimes seems antithetical to the spirit of innovation which encourages freedom and multi-direction dialogue, there are several key ways that management has to funnel that dialogue into impactful results.

One of the key challenges to achieving this goal is finding a method of selecting, rating, and prioritizing potential innovation in a way that tallies with an organization’s overall mission, goals, and capabilities. This is why IdeaScale is introducing ReviewScale to their suite of services.

The benefits of introducing a decision matrix solution roughly align to three categories:

Align innovation to business goals
ReviewScale ensures that every client is able to support ongoing organization goals whether it’s conversion, engagement, web traffic, product usability – each idea is subject to customizable, defined criteria that contributes to the overall success of the business.

Make a business case for innovation
One of the most challenging aspects of any organizational change is helping others to understand the end benefit of each innovation. ReviewScale assigns business value and real numbers to each idea.

Ensure ROI
The crowd provides numerous valuable ideas, but knowing which one to invest in is often a challenge. With ReviewScale, administrators are able to forecast future success with greater ease and deliver results more than 80% of the time.

If you’d like to learn more about IdeaScale’s decision matrix solution, ReviewScale, tune into our complimentary webinar “How to Build a Business Case for Crowdsourced Ideas Using Decision Matrix Software” scheduled for June 10th at 10 a.m. PDT. Register today!

IdeaScale to Acquire Ideavibes as Part of Continued Global Expansion

newsflashSan Francisco, CA – April 24, 2014 — IdeaScale, the world’s largest open innovation software provider today announced its acquisition of Canadian crowdsourcing platform provider: Ideavibes.

Ideavibes’ mission is to offer an accessible crowdsourcing platform utilized by cities, brands, and organizations in order to foster innovation and effect change in the world. Ideavibes’ unique offering has served corporate and government clients such as the City of Ottawa, TELUS, Canada Council for the Arts, The Ottawa Public Library, and many others.

“Ideavibes has built a tremendous product and developed a proven methodology that we are proud to welcome into the IdeaScale family,” said Rob Hoehn, CEO of IdeaScale, “The Ideavibes platform already offers amazing embeddable capabilities that tallie with IdeaScale’s mission to innovate everywhere at every level. We are excited to bring that great experience to more organizations and help them achieve their innovation goals.”

Paul Dombowsky, CEO of Ideavibes said “We’re thrilled to join IdeaScale, a long-time player in the innovation market. Their approach to engagement and innovation along with their mature product offering will continue to make innovation easier for organizations and deliver on ideas that can have a positive impact on the world.”

IdeaScale is glad to offer servers and an established presence in Canada as it continues to build a more comprehensive presence worldwide in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

About IdeaScale

IdeaScale is the largest cloud-based innovation software platform in the world with more than 25,000 customers and 4 million users. The software allows organizations to involve the opinions of public and private communities by collecting their ideas and giving users a platform to vote. The ideas are then evaluated, routed, and delivered on the back-end, making IdeaScale the engine of innovation. IdeaScale’s current client roster includes industry leaders, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and the White House. For more information about IdeaScale, visit ideascale.com.