Ever since the first suggestion box was put out in a break room, idea management has been part of any well-run organization. Idea management software is a platform that captures the flow of ideas from your employees and helps you and your team distill them into actionable concepts. That’s a superb benefit in and of itself, and it offers a host of others as well.
Transparency And Collaboration
One of the big problems in innovation is that employees drop their suggestion in the box and then… nothing. The boss could be ruminating over it, or using their suggestion as a coaster. It also means their friends and coworkers can’t see their idea and help with it, providing the kind of valuable feedback needed in any innovation strategy.
Idea management software makes ideas visible, giving employees ways to follow ideas through the system and giving their colleagues ways to offer perspectives and approaches themselves that help to refine a rough idea into something great. Team members can weigh in, ask questions, and point out potential flaws that can be addressed in the conception stage, instead of after execution.
Another factor that limits innovation is that organizations can be slow to act. Some of this is absolutely normal; even a small idea can have a big impact on any number of departments and they need to be able to confirm those impacts will be positive. However, another part of it is that there’s little momentum behind an idea in isolation; it picks up speed only when somebody looks at it.
Idea management software gives innovation more momentum. It gets your team talking about new ideas and approaches, asking questions about their own approach, making it easier to share ideas. Emailing a link across the company intranet is more likely to get attention than a slip of paper under a host of others slips.
How often does your accounts receivable department talk with, say, your programming department? In many companies, it can be difficult to get employees with different missions and jobs communicating across those divides. Idea management opens up those channels in a number of ways. For example, the accounts receivable team might request suggestions for automating a boring task that takes up too much of their time, and the programming team might make them a simple tool to take care of it or point out a feature of their accounting software buried in sub-menus nobody bothers to use. It strengthens the bonds between the teams and leads to the biggest edge.
The pace of industry, as a whole, is only getting faster. A flood of new technologies, from machine learning to automation, is entering the fray and changing how we work. Ironically, this has made the human approach to these problems all the more important. It’s often lost in the discussion of these trends that they’re just tools. Just like a hammer is useless without someone to swing it, even cutting-edge technology conveys no advantage unless your team uses it in new and clever ways.
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