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Types of Ideas in an Idea Management Program

Continuous innovation requires a constant flow of ideas from employees. Training to identify the different types of ideas will help you manage your workflow and evaluate these ideas accordingly.

We generally have two categories of ideas that managers should focus on:

  1. Top Supported Ideas

Top ideas are ideas that resonate with the community and are generally calculated by your idea software. Managers should address top ideas as soon as possible to both acknowledge that it’s something the community really wants to see implemented and that it’s been seen by management.

Before we move to the second category, I wanted to quickly review from a practical standpoint for managers, the two most crucial variables to an idea: impact and execution.

Low Impact High Impact
Easy to Execute Go for It!
Difficult to Execute Avoid

Generally we want to avoid ideas that are both difficult to execute and have minimal impact on the business, because the return on the effort put into implementing these ideas are low. The only exception would be ideas that are difficult to execute and low impact, but necessary.

Ideally, we want ideas that are easy to execute and yield high impact. They have a high ROI and allow you to tackle more with your time.

Top supported ideas will often be high impact because implementing these ideas will affect many employees.

  1. Wild Card Ideas

Wild card ideas are ideas that don’t necessarily have many votes, but are nonetheless aligned with the goals of the initiative and relatively easy to accomplish. While they look like ideas that are easy to execute and low impact, when executed, they become high impact.

Here are a few guiding questions to help you determine if an idea is a wild card:

  • Is it relatively easy to implement?
  • Does it align with the goal of the innovation initiative?
  • When implemented, can it make a high impact on the business?

Harness the power of employee ideas.

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