How to grasp good ideas?

It is straightforward to imagine that all the companies who perform better are the most innovative in their own field and in this time of technological changes, the increasing speed of innovation applies strains in all the levels organization. Thus, one of the most critical question is how to grasp all the good ideas?

Many employees are not motivated to share their ideas or to invest extra-time to work on them. These barriers to innovation can be caused by the lack of support or mechanisms to develop the thoughts. Some other hindrances can be triggered by a poor organizational culture, such as the lack of recognition or the rejection of previous ideas without explanations, creating frustration and wasting of the creative potential of the employees.

Nonetheless, in this digital era, some solutions seem to arise, such as the enterprise social networks and interactive platforms. As pointed out by a paper published recently in the Harvard Business Review « How to Make Sure Good Ideas Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle » by Ella Miron-Spektor, Dana R. Vashdi, Teresa Amabile and Vered Holzmann. This paper reports the implementation of an intranet platform in which every employee can submit an idea by simply filling an anonymous form. All the data regarding the idea are visible to everyone enabling the fair assessment of the proposition based on defined and explicit set of criterion and parameters.

This procedure bypasses the conventional ways of emitting ideas, which can be stalled by the psychological barriers such as the fear of making mistakes and poor management attitudes. Another interesting aspect of the approach is that managers are motivated to seriously consider the interesting ideas and work with the employees to refine them. Additionally, employees receive feedback on every submitted idea.

The results of this approach are also impressive, from 2007 to 2014, Elop’s employees generated over 5000 ideas with an implementation rate of 70%, thanks to this holistic approach which recognizes employees for their level of effort, not just the outcome, promoting learning. Moreover, this intranet platform is also effective to increase the employee engagement, the job satisfaction and by extent the well-being in the workplace.