Now is an ideal time for progressive companies to become more proactive and take the initiative to create new, innovative ideas. The need for fresh thinking is especially intense today as companies seek new growth opportunities during this unsettling transformative period of global business development. Whether it is product or commercial innovation, brainstorming new ideas will be critical for many businesses to sustain their growth, and for some, even to survive.
Our recent ideation campaign has been consolidated and is now available in a free ebook entitled 5 Essential Steps for a Successful Ideation. This reflects our rich experience helping companies gain a fresh perspective and novel ideas for their business, plus tips from other professionals as described in their articles and blogs:
“Inventing Big Ideas” by David Dunn
“Schumpeter – Think Different”, The Economist
“Ideation Success Formula: Eight Suggestions” by Gregg Frale
“10 Strategies for Bringing Structure to Ideations”, from Dynamics of Innovation
Click here to download the FREE eBook - 5 Essential Steps for a Successful Ideation. We hope this can help you start developing a new culture of innovation in your company. As always, we appreciate your feedback and suggestions.
In light of our recent "Growing Your Business in Asia" series, here is an example of a company growing their business not only in Asia, but worldwide. This recent article about Samsung, titled Asia's New Model Company, provides a number of insights about the fastest growing company in Asia.
Click here to view the article.
Image credit: Jeff McNeill
By: Jay Gronlund
You have now finished all the preparation and conducted a spectacular ideation session (see parts 1-4), yet here is where most companies fail. Yes, great ideas, but did you forget about an adequate reallocation of resources (e.g. budgetary, time, priorities, etc.) and management commitment to follow up for ultimate success? Here are the most common challenges, plus worthwhile tips on how to resolve them:
Implementation: Making It Happen – At the end of the session, a thorough and realistic assessment of the viability and financial potential/ROI of the ideas is crucial. Then the real challenge comes into play. In most companies, the best managers are usually overwhelmed with too many mandates and activities, so the last thing they want is another responsibility. Such an overload situation will never result in successful development or commercialization of any idea. It is up to senior management to anticipate this possible conflict and adjust accordingly. Here are some important initiatives to ensure effective implementation:
- Sustain Idea Generation/Refinement Efforts – Ideation should be ongoing. Far-sighted companies often use a special ideation session as the stimulus for establishing a corporate culture that is more focused on innovation. A new responsibility like this should involve HR and senior management support, including incentives and appropriate resource allocation. Since all initial ideas require further financial and market research analysis, the idea refinement and execution stage should be well planned with a schedule of follow-up meetings and progress reports.
- Criteria for Judging Each Idea – Good ideation sessions evoke high levels of emotion, which is important for motivating a team effort, but it can sometimes obscure the harsh realities of product/service feasibility, market acceptance and adequate financial ROI. A worksheet with criteria should be prepared before the ideation session to help gauge the true potential as these ideas are developed. For example, here are some sample questions:
- Does it solve a real problem – what advantage does it create?
- Is the message/image consistent with the core brand?
- What are the risks in implementing the idea?
- Is the competition doing this? How different?
- What is the ROI? Estimated 3 year monetary payback, for example?
- What kind of further research or market testing is required?
- Is there any risk of patent infringement?
- How do we measure success?
- Developing and Committing the Best Resources – With senior management’s full support, a high urgency development program must follow the ideation session. This means sufficient funding, selecting ideal HR resources (Peter Drucker stated, “you put your best people on tomorrow’s business”), and even customized training. A good way to evaluate and project the ultimate viability of an idea is to conduct a simulated sales initiative, e.g. “strategic account management” training workshops for sales and marketing managers.
IN SUMMARY: Smart ideations can determine the future performance, even the survival of a company. Are you prepared to take bold action to prepare for tomorrow? What do you need?
Previous: What You Should Include to Make an Ideation Session a Success
Part 1: The Ideation Process: What it is, Why Important and Management Commitment
Part 2: 4 Examples of Key Tasks to Prepare for a Successful Ideation Session
Part 3: Who Should Participate in an Ideation Session – Importance of Diversity
Part 4: What You Should Include to Make an Ideation Session a Success
Part 5: Completing the Ideation Process – The Challenge of Execution