So you’ve implemented your idea program successfully using key factors. You’re generating high quality ideas. Now, it’s time to start selecting ideas to respond to and move through your innovation funnel.
Here are three key factors to consider when choosing ideas: Community Support, Timing, and Strategic Alignment.
We recommend that you start with looking into what employees and other stakeholders are saying about the ideas. You may be surprised at why they love an idea and by the insights they can provide on how to improve the idea even further.
Are you using idea software to manage ideas? If so, community “votes” on ideas can give insight into key concerns and priority items. But remember to look at the whole picture. Is there a consensus surrounding votes, or are there disagreements within the community?
Don’t just look at the numbers; comments provide valuable information as well. Comments reveal important nuggets of information regarding differences in voting patterns or ways to improve ideas. Why does the community love or dislike a particular idea? Is there a way to address the concerns of the community?
Another key issue is timing. There are probably many great ideas that you would love to implement, but if you do not have the resources to see it through, it is probably better to choose ideas that are more feasible. Of course, if you choose not to pursue an idea, always respond with transparency. Acknowledge the great contribution of the idea and the reason why the timing is not right.
As circumstances change, opportunities arise for older ideas to take shape. Make it a habit to peruse ideas that garnished high community support but did not have the right timing. We recommend checking back once a month to see if the timing is right to roll out those ideas.
Finally, it is critical that ideas you implement support the higher-level mission of your company. Ideally, you have structured your idea program to elicit such ideas. It is always important to check whether these ideas align with the goals and strategies of your company.
If so, great!
If not, consider moving forward on it as a wild card idea. Wild card ideas may not have the full support of the community or align with current strategy; butt, they may take your company to a new level if things work out! Otherwise, put it aside and re-evaluate it at a later time.
If you have set up your idea program for success, it is likely you will have many ideas from which to choose. You may be overwhelmed by the amount of great ideas, but by keeping in mind community support level, timing, and strategic alignment, you can narrow it down to the best ideas to pursue at any given moment.