Tag: innovation awards

Announcing the 2016 Innovation Management Award Winners


Having received some fantastic entries, we have officially chosen and are extremely pleased to share our winners for the 2016 Innovation Management Awards. And because we got so many great submissions, for the first time ever, we have also selected runner ups for each category!

City of Calgary—Best Engagement Strategy

The City of Calgary is the winner of the Best Engagement Strategy for their myCityInnovation campaign, an internal program which is part of the broader City innovation program Civic Innovation YYC. In order to increase engagement, the City launched a multi-channel campaign to inform employees and get them involved. This campaign spanned all methods of communication, including social media, newsletters, events, emails and more. Furthermore, this push for engagement and communication continued throughout the entirety of the campaign, rather than focusing exclusively on the start of the campaign. With regular messages sent to the internal community, the City was able to keep potential innovators interested and aware of the campaign, and greatly exceed their target numbers for ideas submitted and engagement reached. Click here to find out more about the city of Calgary and their myCityInnovation initiative.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory—Best Moderation Strategy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the winner of the Best Moderation Strategy for their JUMP campaign. JUMP stands for Join the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation, Promote technology-to-market. Oak Ridge is the largest science and energy national lab in the Department of Energy system, and the goal of JUMP was to broaden the pool of people from whom the DOE seeks ideas, and to move the ideas to marketplace faster. Jump crafted an incredibly detailed plan for moderation of submitted ideas, starting with a five phase schedule, the development of five roles within the community, the screening of ideas for applicability and appropriateness, and criteria for the evaluation of ideas. Click here to find out more about the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their JUMP campaign.

National Cancer Institute—Best Innovation

The National Cancer Institute is the winner of Best Innovation for their Cancer Research Ideas campaign, in support of the Cancer Moonshot proposed by President Obama in January 2016. The Cancer Moonshot was proposed with a goal of accelerating progress against cancer by a decade in just five years. The Cancer Research Ideas community brought together the research community and the general public to submit ideas on how best to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. The result of the campaign was a final report which presented 10 transformative research recommendations for achieving the Cancer Moonshot’s goal, including recommendations for improving patient quality of life as well as suggestions for most useful research areas. Click here to find out more about the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Research Ideas campaign.

Congratulations to our winners! To read more about each of our winners, and to find out about our runners-up (Dick’s Sporting Goods, Department of Labor, and Standard Bank), visit our 2016 Innovation Management Awards page.

What We Learned

Two trends that are common among our three winners are clearly articulated goals from the outset, and active participation from moderators to reach the best conclusions. All three of our winners entered their innovation campaigns with specific outcomes in mind. As a result, they were able to frontload the planning of the engagement and moderation of their campaigns, leading them all to exceed the quantitative expectations they had set for themselves. Additionally, all three of our winners found that active participation from moderators meant the best possible ideas at the end. By engaging innovators at all levels of idea suggestion, by soliciting conversation amongst the community, by asking clarifying questions to further develop ideas, by developing plans for engagement of potential innovators not already part of the community, moderators were able to elevate the discourse and the value of presented ideas.

When possible, winners in each category receive an Apple Watch, a 5% discount on their 2017 subscription, a VIP pass to IdeaScale’s 2017 Open Nation Conference, a free IdeaBuzz challenge, and a promotional PR packet.

What might your organization do to be more engaging, have better moderation, and implement the best innovation?

One More Week to Submit to the Innovation Management Awards

innovation-management-deadlineAs we wrap up this election cycle, another deadline is right around the corner – the deadline for submissions to the 2016 Innovation Management Awards!

If you’re still debating whether you should submit, or if you’ve already submitted your organization and are awaiting the results, here are some of the lessons that we’ve learned from past Innovation Management Award winners that you can take to heart for the future.

Have a Plan

When it comes to having an effective, efficient innovation campaign, arguably the number one most important aspect is having a plan, and have that plan developed prior to beginning the campaign. This means thinking through all aspects of engagement, moderation, enactment, tracking, rewards if applicable. How are you going to get your employees and/or consumers involved in the campaign? How are you going to sift through innovation ideas once people start suggesting them? How are you going to decide on winning idea(s)? How are you going to track the implementation and enactment of ideas, to see exactly how effective they are? How are you going to reward participants for their participation? These, and many more, are all questions that should be considered and answered before you even start a campaign. As we’ve seen, when you have strategies in place from the start, you’re helping yourself succeed.

All three of our winners from the 2014 Innovation Management Awards had exemplary plans in place for their campaigns, specifically with relation to social media outreach and engagement. The Department of Labor thought through three specific phases of their campaign, and the latter two phases including utilizing social media as a way of examining the accessibility of that media. The Department of Energy used their Twitter account to garner approximately 11% of the Sunshot Catalyst campaign’s members. Scentsy used social media to promote successfully completed ideas, in turn encouraging the community to get involved and be involved in the future.

Make It Easy

Another important facet of having a successful campaign is how easy you make it for your community to participate. This goes somewhat into having a plan – if you’ve thought ahead well enough, you will hopefully have thought about the path of least resistance for those that you would most like to hear from. If you’re attempting to engage employees, perhaps set aside a half an hour every day specifically for employees to create and share ideas. If you’re hoping to engage a wider community, maybe make a “cheat sheet” of step-by-step instructions for participation. If you have satellite locations for your organization, create easily shareable communications for them to pass along to their individual communities. Innovators are more likely to be involved if they can spend their actual time innovating and surfacing ideas rather than struggling with the logistics of being involved.

Focus on Inclusivity and Transparency

As in many areas of life, we seem to be striving more and more for inclusivity and transparency, perhaps related to our continual struggle to remedy past inequities and prevent them in the future. Whatever the reason, it’s a step in the right direction. This focus is a commonality amongst our winners, and is a good indicator that you might be a powerful candidate for the Innovation Management Awards. All three of our 2015 Innovation Management Award winners focused on these two important attributes for their campaigns. Both the Making All Voices Count and Innovate Your State campaigns were looking to engage citizens in ways that could make their experiences better, specifically in ways that could increase representation and government accountability and transparency. The Western Australia Police found that the transparency during their process increased participation, even when that transparency involved constructive criticism.

So if you have a plan, make it easy, and focus on inclusivity and transparency, you’re a perfect fit. Be sure to submit your organization to the 2016 Innovation Management Awards by Friday, November 18. You can find more information and enter your submission here.

What Makes a Good Innovation Management Award Submission?

innovation-management-dataSubmissions are now open for the 2016 Innovation Management Awards, but how do you know if you’re a good fit and you should submit your organization? What makes a good Innovation Management Award submission?

Let’s take a glance at some of the past winners to glean if they have something in common that would be helpful for people wondering whether they should submit.

The Western Australia Police, the 2015 winner for Best Engagement, was interested in increasing quality of life, for both their police force and for citizens. They specifically endeavored to become more efficient, and by tracking the data both before and after their innovation campaign, they were able to see the enormous impact they had. During the campaign, 1,600 ideas were submitted with 4,700 users participating, over 10,000 comments, and in excess of 92,000 votes. That engagement paid off with an estimated 8,000 hours saved annually and an estimated savings of $2 million.

The 2014 winners all knew one important fact: numbers talk. With comprehensive data, Scentsy, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Energy were able to see the massive results. As a result of their campaign, Scentsy involved 153,000 users in the process, resulting in 87 product ideas being produced and implemented. The Department of Labor had three phases of engagement, with a total of nearly 100 new ideas, over 350 comments, 750 votes, and over 700 users. The Department of Energy produced 137 problem statements, engaged 1,353 votes, 179 comments, and 38 business solutions. Those numbers are able to show the results, not only with regard to the monetary bottom line, but the level of engagement, which is often a feather in the cap on its own for many organizations.

One of the most imperative elements is documentation of processes and results. It is incredibly hard to see where and how much things have improved if you have no record of what things were like before. It’s also going to be difficult to recreate success if you didn’t track the steps and methods used to achieve that success.

So: have you implemented an innovation program in the last two years? Do you have documentation about the innovation program and how it has impacted your organization? Do you have data about how many people have participated? Did you see results in a measurable impact? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should most definitely submit your organization. Click here to find out more and be sure to enter your submission before November 18.

Innovation Management Awards 2016 Are Open!

TScreen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.48.56 PMhink you have a unique and successful strategy for engaging with your community? Or perhaps you feel like you’ve cornered the market on moderating your community and the resulting ideas? Maybe you have a truly groundbreaking new product or process?

If any of these fit with your organization this year, enter your team for the 2016 Innovation Management Awards! Now in their fourth year, the Awards cover three categories: Best Innovation (awarded for best new product, process or market shift); Best Moderation Strategy (awarded for most efficient and effective moderation for refining and evaluating ideas); and Best Engagement Strategy (awarded for high level of engagement through unique methods). Other characteristics of winning campaigns might be quantifiable impacts, unique tactics, and creativity.

Previous winners have made strides in innovation and best practices in a wide range of fields. The 2015 Innovation Award winners—the Western Australia Police, Innovate Your State and Making All Voices Count—were leaders in their fields; all three pushed for inclusivity, transparency, and an increased quality of life. Other previous winners have focused on public policy, government, the environment, customer service, and technology.

In addition to all of those amazing prizes awaiting the winners, former Innovation Management Award recipients have gone on to garner further glory and acclaim for their winning programs. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Catalyst Initiative, our 2014 Innovation Management Award winner for Best Moderation Strategy, went on to win the 2015 ISPIM (International Society for Professional Innovation Management) Grand Prize. The Grand Prize competition was launched in early 2015 specifically to recognize areas of innovation that are usually not as touted as the actual innovations themselves, including moderation and engagement. It all started with an IdeaScale community and an incredibly thorough plan for moderating ideas.

2016 Innovation Management Award winners in each category will receive an Apple Watch, a discount on their 2017 subscription, a VIP pass to the 2017 Open Nation Conference, a free IdeaBuzz challenge, and a promotional PR packet.

Be sure to enter your submissions by Friday, November 18, 2016. Winners will be announced in December 2016. For specific rules and eligilbity, and to apply, visit .

Innovation Management Awards Focus on Inclusivity, Quality of Life

IM Awards 2015Although it may be difficult to remember, try to think back to last year—a whole month ago—when we announced our 2015 Innovation Management Award winners. Back then, we pointed out two commonalities between our three winners, two things that they focused on when engaging in their crowdsourcing campaigns: inclusivity and transparency, and an improvement in the quality of life.

Inclusivity and Transparency

Inclusivity and transparency were important to our winners this year. Whether it was working to ensure that everyone is able to participate in a system that directly impacts them, or endeavoring to make systems transparent and accountable to their participants, all three of our winners found them imperative.

This facet was nowhere more true than with Making All Voices Count. Their Global Innovation Competition challenged a global audience to design a solution that would improve governments’ responsiveness and accountability. Anyone in the world was welcome to apply, both companies and average citizens. By casting a wide net, and aiming to include everyone regardless of circumstance, the competition is already having a huge impact, including helping to reduce maternal mortality and flag corruption through citizen feedback.

Innovate Your State has a similar goal, focusing instead on the citizens of a smaller, localized government. Through the initiative, two big ideas were implemented, but perhaps the greatest impact was that the effort identified numerous issues that were important to the public—issues that may not have been on the radar of governing bodies without the focus on inclusivity and hearing all voices.

For the Western Australia Police (WAPOL), they found that transparency throughout the innovation process increased participation, and thus increased the pool of great ideas for implementation. After trying other processes for managing ideas, WAPOL made it a point to respond to every single idea, even if those ideas were not quite ready to move forward. As a result, the team noticed new users, more ideas, and more comments and votes.

Improved Quality of Life

Another important focus for our winners this year was on improving the quality of life, both for those organizations who were managing the initiatives and for those who the initiatives impacted. Not surprisingly, people are going to be more interested and invested in participating if they know that it’s going to help someone, perhaps even themselves, live a happier, better life.

The Western Australia Police took this to heart, hoping to improve the quality of life for their officers, as well as the citizens in their community. Thus far, the innovations which were generated and implemented are saving over 46,000 frontline hours each year, saving 8,000 hours annually in reporting, and saving thousands of hours in travel time. As we all know, time is money, and time can also be happiness.

Through citizen engagement and open government, both Making All Voices Count and Innovate Your State also had goals of improving the quality of life for average community members.


How might your organization work to make your crowdsourcing and innovation more inclusive and transparent? How might you improve quality of life all around through open innovation?

Innovation Management Awards Deadline Extended

innovation awards deadline extendedIdeaScale is pleased to announce that the deadline for the 2015 Innovation Management Awards has been extended! We know how busy things can get around the holidays, so we wanted to provide a little extra time to submit. Please be sure to send your final submissions now by Friday, December 4.

As a reminder, our Innovation Management Awards cover three categories: Best Innovation, Best Moderation Strategy, and Best Engagement Strategy. Previous winners include the U. S. Departments of Labor and Energy, Scentsy, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Marriott Vacations, the State of Minnesota, Yale University, and UNC-Wilmington. To read more about 2014 Innovation Award winners click here, or to read more about 2013 Innovation Award winners click here.

This year, winners in each category will receive an awesome package of rewards, including:
• An Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display
• A 5% discount on their 2016 subscription
• A free pass to IdeaScale’s 2016 Open Nation Conference
• A free IdeaBuzz challenge
• A promotional PR packet

So feel free to breathe a small sigh of relief, and take a bit of extra time with your submission. We look forward to announcing finalists later this month, and announcing our winners soon after. It is always exciting to see what innovative work has been done in our communities.

3 Reasons to Submit to Innovation Management Awards by This Friday!

3 ReasonsThe deadline to submit your applications for the 2015 Innovation Management Awards is this Friday, November 20! In this third annual competition of accomplishments in innovation management, three categories are open for submissions: Best Engagement Strategy, Best Moderation Strategy, and Best Innovation.

But why might you want to submit to the Innovation Management Awards? Here are three reasons to consider:

  1. To recognize and celebrate all of the hard working members of your team who contributed to innovation management at your organization. It is always nice to give a nod to those who helped to make your organization more efficient, engaging, and innovative. Although nobody engages in innovation for the recognition, recognition definitely doesn’t hurt, and it’s still nice to do so when the opportunity arises. The Innovation Management Awards are just such an opportunity.
  2. It’s a great way to promote future innovation campaigns. If you’re planning on utilizing employee engagement and the crowdsourcing of ideas in the future—which you should be—being an Innovation Management Award winner would definitely be a feather in your bonnet. It shows that you value the input, that you’re committed to engaging in the process. It shows that contributions are appreciated and acknowledged, which will make your community more likely to want to be involved in later innovation campaigns.
  3. Perks for winning! By no means the most important incentive to submit an application, the rewards are also nothing to scoff at. In addition to a 5% discount on your 2016 IdeaScale community, winners also receive an Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display, a free pass to IdeaScale’s 2016 Open Nation Conference, a free IdeaBuzz challenge, and a promotional PR packet.

For more information about the Innovation Management Awards, and to submit your application, visit our Innovation Management Awards page.

The Importance of Metrics in Innovation Awards

metricsWith the opening of submissions for the 2015 Innovation Awards, now is as good a time as any to think about metrics and how we measure success and progress in organizational innovation. And what better way to do so than to take a look at the 2014 Innovation Award winners for examples?

Last year, our three winners included the Department of Energy, Scentsy, and the Department of Labor. While there are some measurement methods that are shared among two or three of the winners, they understandably also had metrics that were unique to their organizations and IdeaScale communities.

For example, The Department of Labor, which won for Best Engagement Strategy, enacted a campaign that was interested in the inclusion of people with disabilities in STEM fields, and specifically considered the availability and opportunities of social media tools and applications for those people. They measured their campaign by looking at response to their targeted outreach and engagement; in some cases, this meant more focus and celebration on the quality of engagement and new relationships formed.

One of the metrics that was a common thread for all three of our winners was numbers. Quantitative data is used to make points and emphasize growth in general daily life, but is especially poignant when measuring innovation. All three of the 2014 winners related the incredible number of new ideas, votes, comments, and community members. Scentsy, an Idaho-based candle warmer company which won for Best Innovation, shared, “We have had over 9,000 ideas shared to date, with more than 600,000 votes, and 17,000 comments from among 153,000 users.” For the Department of Energy—which won the Innovation Award for Best Moderation Strategy—a facet of innovation was the cost reduction as a result of their IdeaScale community. Michael Contreras, Managing Director of the DOE’s SunShot Catalyst program said, “The program was conceived, approved, and launched in less than six months. By using the IdeaScale platform, we have been able to achieve this velocity without increasing management cost. Costs for manging the community and campaigns have been reduced by ~90%.” Everybody can appreciate such a strong impact on the financial bottom line.

Ultimately, though, metrics are important because how can you determine growth and innovation if there is no yardstick for comparison?

To find out more about the Innovation Awards, see rules and eligibility, and to submit your organization to the competition, visit

2015 Innovation Management Awards Are Open!

2015 awardsHave you fostered a high level of engagement in your community using new and innovative methods? Have you raised the bar for best practices in moderation of your community? Or perhaps you had an amazingly impactful new idea or product as a result of your community?

If this sounds like it jibes with your organization’s work this year, enter your submission for the 2015 Innovation Management Awards! Now open for submissions, the Awards cover three categories: Best Innovation (awarded for best new product, process, market shift); Best Moderation Strategy (awarded for most efficient and effective moderation standards); and Best Engagement Strategy (awarded for high level of engagement through unique methods).

The deadline for application is November 20, 2015. Other characteristics of winning campaigns might be quantifiable impacts, unique tactics and approaches to innovation, and creativity.

The 2015 Innovation Awards are the third annual. Previous winners have made strides in innovation and best practices in a multitude of fields, including public policy, government, environmental concerns, customer service, and technology, among others. Some awards winners have worked to change corporate culture and mindsets, while others have focused on efficiency and cost-cutting measures. Whatever you are doing within your community, if it is creative and exceptional, consider entering to win.

Winners will receive an iPad Mini with Retina Display, a discount on their IdeaScale subscription, a free pass to the IdeaScale’s 2016 Open Nation Conference, the opportunity to activate IdeaBuzz for free, and a promotional PR packet.

Take this opportunity to examine and celebrate what makes your community unique. Submit to the 2015 Innovation Management Awards! For specific rules and eligibility, and to apply, visit

A Closer Look at the 2014 Innovation Award Winners

OIAwards2014A few short weeks ago, while we were all still occupying the year 2014, we announced our 2014 Open Innovation Award winners. We pointed out two best practices that were used by all three of our award winners: social media engagement and ease of participation. Were you curious about how the winning organizations utilized these practices? We will quench that curiosity with a closer look.

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement was an important strategy for all of our winners. Whether it was an effort to increase the innovation community via social media outreach or whether investigating social media accessibility as a concept, all three found it imperative.

The latter was true for the Department of Labor’s ePolicyWorks initiative, which set up three dialogues to specifically investigate the accessibility of social media platforms for people with disabilities. This was especially useful in the final two of the three dialogues, as ePolicyWorks was seeking insight from participants outside the disability community about the state of social media and STEM employment for people with disabilities.

The Sunshot Catalyst Initiative at the Department of Energy utilized their Twitter account to garner approximately 11% of Sunshot Catalyst’s active members. The team also emphasized how social media outlets are valuable sources for crowdsourced participation in an innovation community.

Likewise, Scentsy—a company which uses consultants to sell products directly to users—wanted to check in about needs and desires of their customers. They used social media in order to promote successfully completed ideas including what would become the top selling warmer in company history, the Mason Jar warmer. This promotion of completed ideas in turn became an encouragement for the community to get involved and submit ideas in the future.

Ease of Participation

Another important aspect of their winning strategies was making participation as easy as possible for their respective communities. The Department of Energy’s Sunshot Catalyst accomplished this by giving users step-by-step screenshots of the process. By providing their community with easy instructions for participation, the Sunshot Catalyst team made participating more accessible.

The Scentsy team made participation easier by providing every opportunity and point of entry as possible for their involved consultants. Not only did they utilize social media channels, as previously mentioned, they also integrated links to their IdeaScale community throughout the Scentsy system, making it especially easier for consultants to get involved.

The Department of Labor’s ePolicyWorks created shareable communications—both for social media platforms and other spaces—in advance of the formal introduction of the dialogue online. Understandably, they realized that participation is easier when those you would like to be involved in the conversation are aware that it will be occurring, and even have an opportunity to consider in advance what their contribution to the conversation might be.

How might your organization make participation easier? How might you utilize social media to further engage your community?