Good innovators recognize that our ability to create meaningful, positive change doesn’t just depend on gathering good ideas, but on our ability to recognize great ideas. That means that we get a lot of questions from our customers about how to select the best idea – things like “how do I prioritize good ideas when I have them?” or “how do I control for the fact that I don’t have a lot of resources to implement ideas?” or “how do I make sure I select ideas that are going to have a positive impact on my organization?” and the good news is that having a good approach for idea evaluation helps with all these issues and more.
There are a number of different ways to think about evaluating ideas, but almost all of them are linked to your innovation process. And most importantly, participants in an innovation system should be able to look to the innovation process to feel that they’re looking at a system that shows a path to success and bolsters and builds up good ideas. It helps uses understand why some ideas move forward while others don’t, it helps users create submissions that are closer to the solutions that you can implement while also providing predictability and transparency to your process. This is why you need to know how you’ll be evaluating ideas when you’re building your process and vice versa.
But whatever kind of process that you use, certain kinds of evaluation are better than others as you move ideas through the funnel and filter them further. Generally, the more easy-to-understand, lower barriers appear at the front of the process and the more rigorous, in-depth evaluation towards the end of the funnel. That’s why one of the key pieces of advice from The Corporate Startup is “make sure you’re asking the right questions at the right time.”
Usually the pass/fail and popularity are assessed in the earlier stages. Buy in and additional research happen towards the middle of the process, and final in-depth alignment and evaluation measures occur at the end of the funnel. The reason this generally happens is because the evaluation in the initial stages often informs the evaluation in the later stages. For example, it’s difficult to provide a practical financial assessment without doing some more in-depth research and investigation in some sort of refinement or proposal-building stage.
If you want to learn more about idea evaluation, register for next week’s webinar on August 9th at 10 a.m. PDT. You’ll learn about how to integrate evaluation types align to innovation process and some common criteria used by company’s for idea evaluation.