Quality ideas play a vital role in ensuring innovation success. This is the reason why it is imperative for companies to acquire a lot of unique ideas at work.
In this article, you will learn how idea generation software can contribute to creating concepts that can truly add value to your organization and its customers.
What is the essence of idea generation?
Idea generation allows organizations to exercise their creativity by creating optimal solutions for existing problems within a certain field.
It enables them to ask questions and research about variables that may lead to breakthrough products and organizational changes for growth. This process is imperative for companies to move forward and progress in terms of business.
Idea generation signals the beginning of innovation. As a result, businesses stay relevant, and more jobs are provided for the people.
What are the benefits of doing idea generation online?
Despite other existing methods in generating ideas, it is physical brainstorming that organizations like to use the most.
However, with the advent of technology, some innovation teams prefer doing it digitally, particularly with idea generation software.
The advantages of digital brainstorming are the following:
- Doable anytime, anywhere. Brainstorming online is more convenient for companies with remote employees. Regardless of their differences in place and time, team members can still contribute their ideas seamlessly.
- Unlimited participants. Because this activity is done virtually, the quantity of members that can join is limitless. Unlike traditional sessions, the organization is not bound by the number of people that their chosen venue can accommodate.
- Anonymous sharing of ideas. Digital brainstorming makes it easier for some team members to raise their thoughts and suggestions, especially those who are afraid of being scrutinized.
- Simultaneous exchange of knowledge and feedback. Concepts that are in need of immediate discussions and feedback can directly be looked into by innovation managers and other session leaders.
- Cloud-based. Every idea and discussion is saved on a virtual board, so innovation teams can review and access it whenever necessary. Moreover, with conversations examined the second time around, new ideas might arise again.
- Other exciting features. Using the right idea generation platform also gives you additional benefits that enhance employee engagement, like gamification elements, categorized ideas, and many more.
By the way, if you’re used to physical brainstorming and you’re now considering digital brainstorming, we have a beginner’s guide to online brainstorming sessions you can read. Check it out to ease the transition.
What is idea generation software?
There are a lot of tools and techniques that a company can utilize in performing and simplifying the process of generating ideas.
One of them is idea generation software, which enables innovation leaders to efficiently collect, select, and organize the concepts proposed by employees.
In addition, using idea management software shortens the entire process with the features that it offers for companies.
Some of these features include:
- The ability to create idea challenges. Creating idea challenges within the organization is not only an indication of innovation culture but a way of enticing members in contributing ideas regarding a specific issue that the organization wants to solve.
- Countdown timer for idea campaigns. Apart from emphasizing the seriousness of idea generation activities, establishing a time limit also encourages order and teamwork. As a result, the creativity and decision-making abilities of innovation teams are enhanced.
- Undercover mode for anonymous idea-sharing. Allowing employees to share their ideas anonymously helps them overcome their fear of speaking out. Hence, they will be able to share their knowledge and suggestions well with confidence and cohesiveness.
- Leaderboards for ranking and recognition of ideas. Using leaderboards is a way of acknowledging efforts and recognizing concepts that stand out from the rest. It also increases competitiveness, resourcefulness, and ingenuity among teams.
- Experience points for enhanced employee engagement. Giving points for every idea generation task accomplished increases employee engagement. This feature makes the process even more fun and exciting to finish.
Why should you use idea generation software?
With robust idea generation software, innovation teams can discover, assess, enhance, and implement impactful ideas.
- Market share and revenue are increased. The creation of breakthrough products and services drives a competitive edge. On the other hand, the implementation of certain organizational changes can enhance company processes for progress and growth.
- Costs are reduced with the application of strategically aligned and resource-appropriate concepts. Generating, selecting, and refining ideas for implementation reduces mistakes, thereby reducing potential costs due to failure.
- Efficiencies and relevant problems are uncovered, resulting in the seamless execution of ideas. Creating top-notch solutions involves identifying the root causes of problems and determining the factors that would help in successfully addressing them.
- Great products, services, and appropriate changes are executed within the organization. Producing great ideas lead to the creation of products, services, and changes that move the organization in a more innovative direction.
Moreover, idea generation software comes with customer support and consultation services for further direction of innovation activities. It also comes with social features that encourage collaboration and engagement among employees.
Lastly, idea management software makes a whole lot of difference as it speeds up the rate of creating new ideas turning them into innovative projects for competitive edge and survival.
Using it also makes it easier for innovation managers to summarize strategic problems and get the rest of the team onboard in solving them.
That way, crowdsourcing for solution development becomes quicker, as fresh insights and perspectives are contributed simultaneously.
How to use idea generation software
Here’s how you can use an idea generation software effectively:
Ask the right questions
Exceptional innovation starts with questions that ignite one’s curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness. These queries and problem statements must be framed in ways that seek out different inputs and perspectives from employees.
Asking the right questions must result in uncovering information that can possibly disrupt the industry or establish a pattern of practices that may speed up internal processes and other innovation activities.
The ability to structure questions innovatively ticks inquisitive minds and pushes them to go beyond the limits in creating unique ideas. Once the right questions are asked, challenges and opportunities are discovered as pathways of innovative thinking.
In Accept Mission, you can create various inboxes about certain questions. Then, your team can drop their ideas any time they got one — wherever and whenever that may be.
Ask with an open mind
Posing inquiries involves paying attention to responses with a receptive attitude. Maintaining an open mind leads innovation teams into discovering misconceptions and standpoints that are generated by a team with diverse backgrounds and expertise.
So don’t be so quick in dismissing concepts:
Discuss every idea with the rest of the innovation team and see what they have to say. Accept suggestions that may refine current proposals, and listen with an intent to encourage recommendations and provide honest feedback.
Reframe challenges in different lenses
Active questioning involves defining challenges and opportunities from distinct points of view.
This kind of twist on brainstorming implores thinking processes by evoking questions out of everyone instead of directly addressing problems. These bursts of questions determine how participants see the problem or opportunity at hand.
Afterward, questions are examined as a group. The ones that need more research are further looked into, and ideas are gathered for the next phase of the innovation process — the selection stage.
Set up the selection process
Choosing the best ideas is a way of reducing innovation risks. Knowing that some innovation projects may not give a positive return on investment, it is important to sort out the most feasible ones and increase innovation success.
Bringing ideas into life requires a sufficient amount of assets to realize. That’s why it is imperative for organizations to pick out the most viable concepts that will add value to their businesses instead of putting such resources to waste.
To set up the selection process, companies have to come up with relevant criteria.
The image below is an example of the advanced selection methods available in Accept Mission. This is a step higher than what other ideation software offers especially that you can design your own criteria system.
Below are some of the factors that they can use in selecting ideas for execution:
- Coordination with innovation and business goals. It is best to select ideas that are in line with your company’s strategies. Doing otherwise may rid you of your stakeholders’ approval. Plus, knowing that your idea is strategically aligned with your business goals is one way of ensuring that the concept really adds value to the business.
- Return on investment. The benefits of implementing a certain idea may play a vital role in determining which recommendations to prioritize. After all, every innovation project is an investment, so you might as well use it to get your business one step ahead of the competition.
- Deadlines. Find out how long it would take for the company to materialize a specific concept. Determine when you can expect profitability, and at what measures can you scale it for a greater ROI. Identify how realistic it would be, and how you can track its progress over time.
Make ideation easier with Accept Mission
There are plenty of idea generation and management software for innovation in the market today. But only a few are truly helpful in bringing your innovation goals to life.
One of these platforms is Accept Mission, a powerful and feature-rich innovation platform for teams who want to take their innovation to the next level.
Accept Mission’s primary objective is to help you maximize your innovation success. Feel free to check out all the features. Note that you can also integrate the platform with various business applications like Outlook, Teams, and Power BI.
Some of the features of Accept Mission that could help make ideation easier include:
- Idea campaigns. Innovation managers can easily gather ideas by creating different missions.
- Collaboration tools. Users can work together for increased knowledge and improvement.
- User selection. Using this feature enables teams to upvote and provide feedback on ideas that they think are interesting.
- Expert scoring. Leaders can establish predetermined factors that participants can utilize in rating ideas from one to ten.
- Advanced gamification. By implementing undercover mode, experience points, leaderboards, and task timers, innovation can become a fun and engaging activity for the company.
- Notifications. Users get notified on the progress of concepts that they have previously commented on and upvoted for.
If you’re still not sure about idea generation software and how it could help you, we hold a regular idea management webinar you can join for free. You can also ask more questions if you want during the session.