6 Lessons from Our 2018 Innovation Management Award Winners

IdeaScale recently announced the winners of our 2018 Innovation Management Awards. Queensland Police Service was recognized for Best Engagement Strategy, Covia won the award for Best Innovation Process, and the Transportation Research Board won for Best Innovation. Here are six lessons to take away from these winners.

Queensland Police Service (QPS)

Person riding a bike over a bridge.
The QPS serves Brisbane and the state of Queensland.

Serving the Australian state of Queensland, the QPS set out to create a collaborative process for all 15,000 staff members to speak outside the chain of command to submit ideas, ask questions, or share knowledge. Here’s what they learned.

Multichannel Communication Essential

With over 40 percent of the workforce participating in the program (a percentage that continues to grow), the QPS credits a multichannel communications initiative with prompting people to engage. Staff members were informed about the program through email, in person, at meetings, via social media, video, website messaging, and more.

Respond to Every Idea

Keeping people engaged meant responding to every idea by asking a general question to stimulate discussion. Relevant decision-makers were brought into the conversation to provide guidance, and process operators always provided a reason if they believed an idea could not proceed further, in what they called an “if not – why not” paradigm.


Covia provides high-performance crystalline silica sand to the petroleum and other industries, and they used IdeaScale to gather employee ideas at all organizational levels. They came away with the following lessons learned.

Automated and Cross-Functional Better than Manual and Siloed

The company’s old idea generation process was manual and organized according to department. Progression of ideas was a manual and intensive process that was slow and inefficient. IdeaScale began revamping the process across departments with innovation management software which was faster and allowed for greater cross-pollination of ideas.

Two men working at a table looking at a laptop.
Cross-functional collaboration online is far more efficient than manual, siloed idea generation.

Workflows Can Help Tremendously when Prioritizing Ideas

Each idea campaign was associated with a unique workflow process that typically included team review, an Idea Score Screen, and then progress to a StageGate process for product development. Such workflows increased workforce participation in sharing ideas, saved an estimated $2 million, and will result in an estimated $10 million in new revenues!

Transportation Research Board (TRB)

The TRB is a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is a nonprofit that provides independent, objective, interdisciplinary solutions to transportation issues. With IdeaScale innovation management software, the TRB created its IdeaHub, a web-based tool where registrants could submit ideas for solving problems. Here are two key insights learned.

Allow People to Both Submit and Monitor Ideas in the System

Not only can participants submit ideas for solving problems, but they can also monitor the progress of their idea from submission through review, connecting with experts who can help refine their statements and make a stronger case to justify funding. Since unfunded statements remain in the system, they retain an opportunity to be considered at a later date.

Crowds Increase Utility of Research Project Ideas

The crowd guidance inherent in the IdeaHub was found to improve the utility and value of research project ideas, with subject matter experts adding depth and detail necessary so that Request for Proposal contractors could create their proposals with greater efficiency and accuracy.

A Common Theme

One common theme throughout these lessons learned is that idea management platforms like IdeaScale are outstanding at increasing participation and engagement, and that crowd-powered innovation management software can make a measurable difference in an efficient, transparent manner. If you’re interested in putting the power of ideas to work for your organization, we invite you to download our innovation starter kit today.

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