Making the Move to Digital Innovation Is Easy—With the Right Tools


Find the right innovation tool and continue doing deep, innovative work.                                                                                             

Carter Liebscher|
October 29, 2020

Imagine this: At the top of the year, you and other company leaders spent ample time and resources on getting your organization’s innovation program up and running, or perhaps back up and running. It’s the start of a new year, a new decade, and leadership has projects in mind (or already in the pipeline) across departments.

And then, of course, the pandemic hit.

It hit every sector, public and private. Everyone had to reenforce remote work policies—or create such policies from scratch. You might’ve seen a dip in productivity (even if slight, like 1%), or you and your employees have faced technical difficulties.

Maybe you don’t have to imagine any of this. Maybe all this happened to you and your team—and more.

Obviously, this would all be a shot to your company’s morale. However, don’t let it trample all over your innovation efforts.

Moving some of your innovation efforts, or even the entirety of your program, to a digital format might seem daunting. Here are some tips on how to do it, along with some real-world examples.

Tip #1: Make Collaboration Key

One of the most common difficulties we’ve seen organizations face in the new virtual normal is the lack of employee collaboration their current tools allow.

Excel and email threads aren’t dedicated innovation tools, and the trade-off is familiarity for functionality.

The most collaborative tools are those that a

Considering 90% of company leaders believe COVID-19 will have a lasting effect on how they operate over the next half a decade, it’s vital that organizations work collectively, even if digitally, to transform themselves for the sake of customers and employees.

Tip #2: Don’t Cancel Meetings and Events Outright—Make Them Virtual

If you can perform deep innovation work virtually with the proper tools, then you can put those ideas into action in virtual meetings and events.

Take Sanford Health for instance. COVID-19 forced the health system to cancel four in-person improvement symposiums which were meant to showcase employees’ innovative ideas across regions.

Rather than reschedule the conferences for a later date, they decided to leverage Ideawake by having employees submit an abstract that explained how they made some kind of quality improvement in their department. Our real-time chat feature made the event changes much easier.

You can read more about the virtual event here.

Tip #3: Define Your Goals Clearly and Early

Employees respond well to defined tasks, responsibilities, and dates.

Leadership will too.

When you have your dedicated innovation tool implemented, define how you want your employees to interact with it and what leadership’s ultimate goals of it are.

The ROI of your employees’ ideas will exceed the cost of your tool quickly.

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