Every industry is capable of innovation, but some are slower than others. How they manage their ideas and improvements is often the deciding factor for success.
Speed of change and improvement within a company can be frustrating for an employee. You’re always thinking – “Why can’t we do it this way instead?” – only to be met with a passive response, plethora of reasons, or not heard all together.
The truth is, your managers, executives, and leaders in these fields WANT to improve. But due to an overwhelming workload, unclear goals, or breakdowns in communication, it can be difficult for them to hear, review, and act on even the best ideas.
The result? Stagnant innovation and disengaged employees.
So what are they missing? Better systems for idea management. Whether through software or strategy, proper idea management needs to be a part of the innovation program inside an organization. Providing structure for idea management brings opportunities for targeted problem solving, effective organization, collaboration, and deeper engagement company-wide.
So what industries are in serious need of better idea management for their employees and customers?
From large systems struggling to communicate to small, rural hospitals looking for better ways to manage resources, every healthcare system is looking for a more effective way to improve patient care and satisfaction at their facilities. To achieve this they need to stay agile. This requires a direct line of communication with those interacting with patients on a daily basis – nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. These are the people with crucial insights into what patients and locations really need, and are responsible for saving lives on a daily basis. Shouldn’t their feedback be of utmost importance?
The minds of the future are nothing to take lightly. But while society is always in flux, education has struggled to innovate alongside it over the years. While teaching isn’t easy, neither is managing districts with diverse demographics, huge student populations, and stretched budgets. The struggle to improve educational ratings and school performance will always be there, but shouldn’t be one-sided. Collaboration between administrators and those at the front-line – teachers in the classroom – is a must.
People will always have opinions, especially when their wallets are concerned. Gathering those opinions can be easy for smaller companies, but a struggle for huge organizations like Apple, GM, or Kellogg’s. Still, the voices of thousands of customers are something that shouldn’t be ignored, and with proper idea management they can play a vital role in an organization’s effort to innovate, boost sales, and build products that consumers really demand.
With the growing influence of lean and continuous improvement initiatives, it’s never been more important to engage production staff to reduce costs and find opportunities to improve efficiency. Coupled with the fact that manufacturing is becoming increasingly complex and specialized, these workers are now guaranteed to possess actionable insights and feedback from their daily experiences. With dismal engagement rates in manufacturing, employee ideas need to be pursued to get them deeper involved in operations and drive innovation programs.
Regardless of political leanings, everyone wants a government that works with its populace and operations efficiently. Of course those who care about elections and their districts want their feedback heard, but it’s an obvious challenge to collect and analyze ideas from thousands to millions of citizens in cities, counties, and states across the country. Still, innovation and improvement in government is reliant on new ideas that must be heard and tested. Employing effective idea management practices create a deeper connection with the community and delivers insights that officials need to govern effectively.
With rise of ecommerce, stores are fighting for their lives to innovate and improve the experience they provide for their shoppers. But changing the way they interact with them and improving their bottom-line is dependent on more than just offering products that their customers want. They need deeper insights into their lives, and to build not just more attractive store-fronts, but more efficient supply chains and marketing campaigns to stretch their budgets further. While corporate calls the shots, ideas for these improvements come from sales people, store managers, and customers.
While often the unsung middleman of the economy, distribution is a crucial piece of the supply chain that connects manufacturers to their retailers. They play a huge role in improving the operating efficiency for all parties involved, from storage improvements to consumer preferences. Distributors hear from everyone, and require strong idea management practices to ensure improvements can be made across the entire supply chain.
Effective advertising and marketing is built on shifting perspectives and influencing buying decisions. That’s difficult without knowing what the end-user is actually interested in and engaging them in a creative and unique manner. Business management ideas for new marketing channels, markets, and opportunities for expansion can come easy from employees and customers, but managing, reviewing, and prioritizing them stalls progress within organizations and stand-alone marketing agencies alike.
Organizations are getting larger with more diverse workforces, multiple locations, and huge customer bases. Effective idea management isn’t a “plus” but a necessity. Too much great feedback is being ignored or left in the minds of your stakeholders. Learn more about Idea Management Systems, and how companies are delivering strong innovation ROI by collecting, prioritizing, and implementing actionable ideas more easily than ever.