5 Common Mistakes in Idea Management

common mistakes in idea management

Systems like excel and email aren’t efficient alternatives to innovation management software because ideas are hard to track and get lost in threads.              

Anna Talamo|
July 5, 2018

The implementation of innovation management software is an exciting – and increasingly important – step for any company to take. It can open the door to a seemingly endless stream of innovative ideas from employees, shareholders and consumers.


In fact, a survey conducted by Right Management found that 57 percent of respondents make workplace suggestions regularly, confirming that there’s an abundance of ideas coming from stakeholders.


However, if the management of these ideas comes up short, stakeholders can begin to feel like their voices aren’t really being heard, creating a culture of disengagement and resentment.


While the initial introduction of an idea management program is a step in the right direction, it’s the subsequent actions taken that make or break its success.


Here are five common mistakes made within idea management.


Lack of executive support

Research shows that empowering employees with a voice positively impacts morale, engagement and performance. But, giving employees a voice means that upper-level management needs to actually listen to the things they’re saying.


Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier, former senior vice president of global solutions at Right Management, found that feeling valued by senior leaders and having their opinions count are two top drivers of employee engagement.


In addition, executive endorsement is essential for incorporating corporate objectives. Without this involvement, interest and momentum can quickly dissipate.


Corporate leaders are the key to maintaining excitement around any initiative and will inspire start-to-finish employee participation.


Collecting ideas and never actually implementing them

The actual implementation of stakeholder-generated ideas is essential to an effective innovation system. If champions don’t have a systematic way of evaluating and implementing ideas, employees will lose interest and feel like their time has been wasted.


While collecting business management ideas shows employees their thoughts are interesting, actually incorporating them into the company shows them that their thoughts are truly valued.


When employees feel valued, their engagement and loyalty to the company increases. The personal connection to projects often leads to happier employees and increased profits.


Using inefficient alternatives

In today’s world, innovation should be a top priority in every industry. This means idea collection, management and implementation should be taken seriously.


Oftentimes companies will try to implement innovation programs, but without actual software and guidelines in place.


Systems like excel and email aren’t efficient alternatives to innovation management software because ideas are hard to track and get lost in threads.


And even so, once ideas are submitted, there isn’t a structured evaluation and testing stage in place to capitalize on the suggestions being collected.


Forgetting that people are your greatest asset – not technology

With technology’s ever-increasing presence in the workplace, it’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of it all.


Advances like artificial intelligence are pretty amazing, but don’t let them distract from the fact that people are at the heart of any operation. No amount of technology can ever replace the up-close-and-personal insights stakeholders have in regards to a company.


Technology should be embraced by companies and acknowledged as a key driver of innovation, however, any technology implemented should be used to enhance stakeholder experiences, not replace, minimize or trivialize these insights.


By keeping people at the center of innovation, engagement levels will increase and employee interest in the program will be sustained.


Not tracking results

Since there’s typically a limited amount of time for innovative teams to produce tangible results, concrete data turns theories into actual success stories. Tracking results is an imperative facet to the continuation of any idea management program.


Stakeholders that have shared their ideas want to see them fleshed out and developed into real solutions. And without data tracking, there’s the risk of having innovation management initiatives shut down or lose funding, meaning that innovative ideas will never come to fruition.



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