Josh Folk of IdeaScale Dishes with DotCom

Josh Folk is a co-founder of IdeaScale, and he recently joined DotCom magazine for their Leader Round Table Interview series.

Industry 4.0
Harnessing innovation and putting it to work efficiently are at the heart of the so-called Industrial Revolution 4.0.

The editorial team at DotCom Magazine awarded IdeaScale its Impact Company of 2019 Award, and Josh talked with Torrey Mastery of DotCom Magazine about innovation leadership. Here are a few of the key takeaways of the interview.

Change and Even Challenges Are Good Signs

The current “fourth industrial revolution” is closely intertwined with innovation and is causing businesses and other organizations to expand from innovating only within the walls of the organization to collaborating with others. This brings many benefits but also changes expectations and requirements for succeeding.

That’s good news, according to Josh, who tells the magazine, “Be open to change. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you have to pivot. Do a reality check.” He cites one of the keys to IdeaScale’s success as building a workforce that is adaptive and committed.

Likewise, he advises staying positive in the face of change and the challenges that come along with it. “Challenges mean you are on the right track,” he says. It is always essential to stay in the know about your industry and the business climate as a whole to prepare for future changes and challenges.

Customer Successes Should Be as Important as Your Own Successes

Because IdeaScale’s purpose is to facilitate innovation, customer successes are IdeaScale’s successes. This required building a company that isn’t afraid of intuition, honesty, or fun! What’s crucial, according to Josh, is sharing the passions and missions of IdeaScale’s customers and genuinely wanting to see them succeed. 

Woman speaking on the phone smiling.
Seeing customer successes as reflective of your own success helps power further innovation and problem-solving.

This attitude is valuable regardless of the industry or who the customers are. Ultimately, whether you’re selling healthcare, consumer packaged goods, or innovation technology, it’s about adding value for the customers. When customers or clients experience success as a result of what a business does, that’s a win for the business too. 

The Power of the Problem-Solving Attitude

Innovation leadership and problem-solving are two sides of the same coin. After all, innovating is about solving problems in ways that haven’t been done before. Josh tells DotCom that the key to maintaining great communication with customers is having a sincere interest in solving problems. That means that company founders are willing to be part of phone calls and group chats because they are invested in helping customers solve problems. 

Regardless of the purpose of an organization or of one’s role in it, solving problems is at the heart of its reason for existence, and when organizations lose sight of this, they’re less receptive to innovative ideas and less likely to do the exploration and “what-iff-ing” of innovation. 

Innovation leadership is essential to every business, including the most traditional ones. People still need many of the same needs met as they always have, but how people do business is transforming rapidly. The only alternative to embracing innovation is being left behind. 

IdeaScale is there to, as Josh Folk puts it, deploy “the necessary systems and processes for ideas to be captured, connected, developed, and thrive.” If this sounds like a concept that’s relevant to your organization, IdeaScale invites you to download our free Crowdsourcing and Technology white paper today.

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