If you have had trouble implementing ideas, please know that you are not alone. Implementation is a challenge shared by all innovation managers. But with a clearly defined process, you will be well on your way to making ideas a reality.
In order to convert ideas into action and action into results, we need two things:
- A decision to take action
- And follow-through on the decision to deliver results
For the first item, our goal is to make decisions that are accepted by all the key stakeholders and are consistent with the goals of your crowdsourcing or innovation program or the goals of your organization overall.
To this end, we recommend the following best practices:
Involve key stakeholders early. First, map out your key stakeholders, subject-matter experts, and decision-makers. Of those people who wish to engage in decisions, consider how you can engage them efficiently and then ask yourself “when is the appropriate time to engage each of them?” You might not include each of these people in the decision-making process in the exact same way or at the exact same time, but you can use software to develop an inclusive yet efficient system.
Separate discussion from decision-making. During discussion, we want to promote expansive thinking so that we can extract the most value, insight, and creativity from the crowd as possible. During decision-making, we will use our goals and success criteria to converge on a clear decision and plan of action. (For example, an ideation phase is a great time for discussion and a review phase is a great time for decision-maing). Make sure that everyone knows when it’s time for each of those things.
By separating the discussion from decision-making, you clarify for the crowd the nature of their participation at any given moment. If people know when to go broad and when to focus, it is easier for them to contribute to the collaboration.
Clarify how the decision will be made ahead of time and communicate this to your participants. By clarifying and communicating upfront, you avoid the common pitfall of violated expectations.
By following the best practices of involving stakeholders early, separating discussion from decision-making, and clarifying how decisions will be made, you chart the course to a sound decision with maximum buy-in.
This blog post is part of a series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.
This post is by Whitney Bernstein, Innovation Strategist at IdeaScale