7 Must Haves for Achieving Innovation Management ROI

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1 We all know innovation is important. But even though your company knows innovation is a must-have, how exactly do you execute innovation? PwC s latest Technology Forecast tackled the notion that innovation is solely the result of genius and ultimately, not manageable. Instead, they argue that innovation can be a systemized process, subject to performance review and optimization. At Brightidea we focus on the interconnectedness of the cloud to forge collaborative ideation and innovate from top to bottom and bottom to top. Whether you want to improve daily efficiencies or bring an entirely new product to market, our fully downstream Innovation Management software is built to maximize your return on investment and provide powerful, measurable results over time. With over 11 years of experience behind us, we have narrowed the focus down to seven must-haves for securing innovation management ROI.

2 1Securing Buy-In Executive buy-in is critical to supporting growth and ultimately success. Companies commonly choose two methods for securing executive buy-in, depending on the level of interest: sell an initiative locally at the department or division level and build the momentum up to the CEO level, or gain C-level support from the onset. Initial momentum is key to ensuring sustained participation. Start early with a robust marketing plan that identifies the target audience, uses all channels of communication, and drives an early user base that will participate and continue to grow. Identify influencers locally to help advocate your program throughout the company. Also, a kickoff or launch event can spread the word quickly and get people excited about participating from the start. Brightidea was the best choice for CLP. Their software is quick and easy to implement and provides the flexible functions we were looking for. - Joe Locandro CIO of China Light & Power China Light and Power (CLP) is a leading power provider in the Asia-Pacific region. CLP operates in very competitive diverse markets and sought to improve the company s efficiency and ulitize the latest technologies by leveraging employees knowledge. Sponsorship of the Innov8 program started from the top as Joe Locandro, CIO at CLP, decided to drive the development and implementation of a vibrant innovation program. The first campaign within innov8 looked for employee suggestions on how to improve their desktop computing experience and to communicate senior management support for this initiative and drive adoption, Joe Locandro personally announced the NGW idea campaign via instant messages and webcast to all Group IT employees. Since then, the platform has been rolled out to the entire organization with over 60% of employees participating on different campaigns, resulting in 700+ ideas submitted and dozens in development. The program continues to net over 100% return on investment. Aimed at encouraging collaboration across cultural and geographic boundaries through multi-language platform Launched an internal innovation and collaboration website, innov8, built on Brightidea Has achieved over 100% return on investment through implemented ideas combined with sustained participation and improved employee collaboration

3 2Linking Software to Processes Make the software work for you and not the other way around. Linking your innovation management software to existing business processes is the best way to ensure proper follow up, review and execution. Depending on your use-case New Products, Cost Savings, Process Improvements, General Ideation integrating the flow of ideas with existing business process can streamline and automate the ideation process, allowing more focus on finding and developing the best ideas. Brightidea s WebStorm has exceeded our expectations! In our latest release, we had two new products... within each of those products, we looked to the Ideas site for fine tuning, setting priorities, and used it to validate that we were on track. - Lisa Underkoffler, Principal Product Manager, Acrobat.com In 2009 Adobe sought a way to turn their customers into loyal evangelists. Adobe created a new system to collect ideas and filter them into their product development and release process, choosing Brightidea s WebStorm platform to power Acrobat.com Ideas. As an open innovation platform, Acrobat.com Ideas was specially designed for users to post and collaborate on new products in Adobe s Acrobat.com line. What started as an experiment has turned into an essential source of information for Adobe s online collaboration business. Since its launch, Acrobat.com Ideas has had over 155,000 visitors from 195 countries. Almost 500 ideas have been submitted from over 1,700 users and the figures continue to grow daily. Over 40 ideas have already been incorporated into new products, while ongoing posts continue to help the product team set priorities on new Adobe features. Aimed to improve products and engage users in an ongoing conversation Used WebStorm to create a public forum for users, who seeded the site with relevant ideas More than 40 ideas implemented, with more in consideration

4 3Defining Success Success is defined by the goals of your program. Successful companies select goals that are quantifiable and can be tracked over time objectively. For example, if your company wants to see financial ROI in the new products and services submitted through an innovation system, the process and metrics used to track success are definitely more straightforward. A company might consider long term and short term goals for different stages in the innovation campaign. Your goals in the short term may be reaching a certain number of active users or number of ideas. As your community matures, you may focus on participation quality (e.g. number of ideas that did not turn into proposal, number of ideas that were executed, etc.) or revenue generated from executed ideas. The most innovative companies in the world, innovate with Brightidea software. As #118 on the Fortune 500 list, Nationwide s workforce exceeds 36,000 employees that maintain more than 16 million insurance policies. Successful innovation at Nationwide meant developing a channel for employee-driven collaboration and realizing cost-savings, process improvements, and identifying entirely new business lines. However, their existing electronic suggestion box was insufficient, with no mechanism for sorting, managing or implementing the thousands of ideas received. Nationwide also required a solution that would properly reflect and enhance the unique corporate culture, environment and identity it had worked so intently to create. Finally, the solution had to be testable, gradually scalable, and allow easy collaboration across borders, companies, divisions and organizations. To gauge employee usage levels, the program was phased in to a small group with a simple pay-per-user plan, giving Nationwide the flexibility to test the software with low risk. Dubbed the The Great Ideas System, it provided employees a low-barrier way to submit, vote and collaborate on ideas while giving administrators the tools they needed to manage ideas, update users and get insight into the company s innovation program. Now, for over 4 years, Nationwide has realized the successes the company set out to meet with its innovation process, accelerating product development, increasing efficiency, improving processes and developing new customer initiatives. Leveraging the diversity of its employees also yielded great results. Runs an enterprise-wide WebStorm system rolled out to all 32,000 associates worldwide Collects ideas and commitments to drive improved performance in many aspects of the business Realized millions of dollars in short and longer term cost savings with future campaigns in progress

5 4Sustaining Employee Engagement There are many areas to cover when building and sustaining employee engagement over time. The success of any innovation program is closely tied to the level of engagement employees feel. Gary Hamel cites a Towers Perrin study that only one-fifth of employees are truly engaged in their work meaning they re fully invested and would go the extra mile for their employer. The rest ranged from disengaged (38%) to indifferent (41%). Narrowing the focus of your innovation campaign will get you the ideas you are looking for, driving collaboration and making the sorting process that much easier. Provide users recognition and feedback to show that the company is committed and listening, encouraging greater participation in the future. Finally, utilize both targeted and ongoing campaigns. Targeted campaigns will help gain momentum and introduce the innovation process, while ongoing campaigns turn innovation into a core business process and integrate into the broader employee culture. Together, these campaigns provide well-rounded innovation that will lead to lasting change. WebStorm is an investment into our culture. Our employees and collaboration are important to us. - David Detiefsen, Innovation Program Lead, WMS More ways to sustain employee engagement: Maintain blogs, feeds and newsletters Hold meetings to keep people informed Update statuses to show progress Highlight successes continually Communicate beyond idea submission WMS is the dominant player in the video slot machine business. Innovation was set as a core principal for the company, and success defined clearly as establishing a culture of innovation. They started with tackling two key questions, How do we make every employee feel that innovation is part of their job? and How do we maximize our innovation potential? To achieve their innovation culture goals, WMS had to establish certain focus areas, as well as structures that allowed for spontaneous formation of cross-functional teams and an advisory panel of experts to lead, guide and evaluate innovations. In addition to creating on-boarding training on innovation for all employees, WMS also had to put a training program in place to replace panel experts over time. They continually market and speak to the program, honor submissions, give rewards, and have sustained long-term participation. Employees understand and know their input is valued, and success if not hinged on create artificial financial metrics but on quality and sustained activity. Actively engages over 1,500 employees on its corporate innovation platform called Spark Collected more than 3,000 ideas for cost savings, process improvements and new products Named one of America s Top 100 Companies by Forbes and #1 Workplace in Chicago due to employee innovation program

6 5 Stressing Idea Evaluation Idea evaluation is as important as collection because it is where most initiatives fail. Track what happens to ideas, train your team to evaluate ideas on an ongoing basis and introduce the evaluation process early. After idea collection, innovation management software can use the wisdom-of-the-crowds and algorithms for initial prioritization and helping make early-stage ideas more meaningful and actionable. Through the software, information is captured, sorted and logged for future reference. Meanwhile, collaboration on ideas continues with individuals, experts and groups across geographical and organizational boundaries, creating a unique space for idea development and management that will drives implementation of ideas. We have significantly increased client satisfaction and added millions of dollars to the bottom line by leveraging the scalability of online support. - Kim Kelley, Program Manager, CSM, Mentor Graphics Every year, Mentor Graphics received thousands of product improvement requests through their online Help Desk, SupportNet First. They realized that these ideas could be extremely valuable, but had no way to leverage them. Mentor Graphics turned to Brightidea to help provide a WebStorm that would collect those enhancement requests and streamline them for implementation. One of the main reasons Mentor Graphics chose Brightidea was the functionality that allowed for an aggregate voice WebStorm software allows for grouping of similar ideas, showing the company which improvements were most popular. The new system made the evaluation process much easier and more efficient, allowing the Mentor Graphics team to quickly view popular ideas and evaluate them accordingly. Mentor Graphics achieved clear results from its WebStorm deployment: a 45% reduction in call center calls and 78% of customers reporting their problem solved. The implementation has also lead to higher customer satisfaction, better idea visibility and prioritization, and faster enhancement implementation. The bottom line result, said Kim Kelley Program Manager, Customer Support Marketing, Mentor Graphics, is we have significantly increased customer satisfaction and added millions of dollars to the bottom line by leveraging the scalability of online support. Goal to reduce customer service resources and improve customer satisfaction while streamlining enhancement requests Integration of Brightidea s software into Mentor s SupportNet and integration with in-house project management tools to ensure idea evaluation and implementation follow-through

7 6 Focusing on Implementation From the onset, your program should be designed to take a raw idea, and build it into something actionable within the organization. With a system of record for ideas, having the tools to vet, prioritize and execute on the most promising ideas is key. The complete innovation management lifecycle can be broken down into three phases: ideas, proposals and projects. However, it is the final stage the point at which an idea becomes reality that determines the ROI and overall monetary value of your innovation pipeline. The opportunity to work with smaller companies around the world is big for us; we can now take ideas and plug them into places where they move forward. - Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, GE The GE Ecomagination Challenge has been the model of success for open innovation. This is because the program underpinned a fundamental business philosophy, not merely an advertising or marketing gimmick. Follow-through and implementation of ideas were key components of success. Everything about the Ecomagination Challenge was developed and honed around the goal of identifying breakthrough ideas that could turn into next generation technologies. Their extensive marketing campaign began with a kick-off event hosted by GE CEO Jeff Immelt. Built on Brightidea s WebStorm software, the Ecomagination Challenge website offered visitors a dynamic, friendly user-experience with dozens of ways to participate and stay informed. Launched perhaps the largest-ever open innovation challenge with $200M fund for the best technology ideas to power the smart grid Collected 4,000+ ideas from 70,000+ people worldwide through a fully customized site powered by Brightidea s WebStorm The first phase was in looking for ideas to improve the energy grid. The results were the largest open-innovation challenge of all time: 800+ ideas, 81,000+ comments, 120,000+ votes from 70,000 participants from around the globe. The 12 winning projects received total funding of $55 million (and $20 million dedicated to a single idea) from GE and its venture capital partners. The Ecomagination Challenge is now on to Phase Two: Powering the Home. Evaluated ideas fast and effectively with Brightidea s Switchboard, resulting in 12 major funded projects, plus additional grants and $100k awards for future projects

8 7 Measuring Results Throughout the lifecycle of an innovation program, continuous reporting and measurement is critical to optimizing performance. First, identify the metrics you care most about those that address and quantify the goals you seek. Compare statistics against industry averages, which benchmark the types of implementation or participation rates are average. Reviewing engagement metrics like page views and click through rates from program or campaign-specific campaigns can be helpful in determining the effectiveness of a marketing initiative. Finally, distinguishing the number of visitors from participation (comments, votes, etc.) will show you how engaged your users are and where you may need improve or stimulate participation. Without your focus and dedication, we would not have achieved our launch date. - John Nevins, Project Leader, BT Group Measure with Efficiency Metrics: How many ideas were rejected? Percentage of ideas accepted Time from submission to evaluation Measure with System Stats: Logins Comments Page views Votes Ideas Blog posts BT Group, one of the world s leading providers of communications solutions, sought to create a corporate culture of innovation. They defined success as the specific financial value of ideas generated and executed on over time. BT established a system that would allow the company to fully leverage the creative minds of their employees, collect customer insights and efficiently turn the most promising ideas into concrete projects with measurable returns. To do this BT engaged an existing vendor relationship to provide the Rewards Shop, an incentive structure that reflects different cultures, locations, local laws and currency rates. As a top reward, submitters of implemented ideas receive 10% of the idea s bottom line benefits of the first year performance up to a maximum of 30,000. With the rewards system in place, the results have been nothing short of astonishing. Over 10,000 ideas were submitted, cost savings and new revenue generated is in excess of 100M and an engaged and involved employee base that fulfilled their goal of creating a culture of innovation. Sought to address challenges that a global corporation of BT s size and diversity faces Launch the new innovation program powered by Brightidea and used Rewards Shop, an incentive structure to give prizes and promote participation Over 10,000 ideas submitted and cost savings and new revenue generated is in excess of 100M

9 Conclusion From Buy-In to Measuring results, each of these components is critical to managing innovation from concept to cash as a core business process. Organizations today are challenged to manage the ongoing innovation process. But they face a long list of obstacles: piecing together critical information, storing it in disparate sources, and developing a consistent process of bringing best of breed ideas to market. Implementing a companywide innovation management platform can effectively capture the collective wisdom of employees, partners, and customers; and efficiently manage the identification and implementation of next generation products and services. Choosing the right tools and having the proper expertise to effectively innovate will be a defining factor in a company s ability to survive in today s increasingly complex, competitive business landscape. To find out more about our leading Innovation Suite software, schedule a one-on-one consultation with a Brightidea innovation expert. Friendly and expedient service is a pillar of our business. If you have immediate questions or needs, simply call or

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