When setting out on an important journey, it’s always useful to have a map. The same goes for your innovation journey; if you’re planning on building your own framework, you’ll need to know what a great solution looks like before you start.
In this blog post, we’re diving into the specifics of innovation funnels and the different elements you’ll need to help you drive organisational change. We want you to treat your innovation funnel just like your sales funnel.
The Idea Drop platform has been carefully designed around our tried-and-tested innovation funnel, so it’s a great place to start when building out your own map.
This is the system we use to help organisations like Eversheds Sutherland and the Metropolitan Police to build highly effective innovation funnels that drive global change.
Set innovation goals
Goal setting is a crucial part of your innovation strategy. However, it’s not necessarily an easy one – there are multiple issues you’ll have to take into consideration that will define the direction of innovation in your business.
Bottom-up innovation models allow employees on the ground level of your business – the ones closest to business-critical issues – to contribute their solutions to problems and offer ideas how to achieve business goals.
Top-down models allow your upper management to set the agenda, using market demand and strategic business needs to direct the flow of ideas.
Here at Idea Drop, we advocate a collaborate, blended approach to goal setting. Use the platform’s social functions to discover ground-level challenges in the business and weigh them against your own strategic goals. You can then extend goal-setting privileges to a select group of innovation champions.
However you do it, though, make sure everyone has clear visibility on your organisational goals.
Generate and crowdsource ideas
This is the most exciting portion of your funnel. It’s time to try out all your idea generation techniques and strategies, from creative brainstorming sessions to implementing always-on idea capture tools and processes.
Remember, great ideas can come from anywhere. That means you’ll want an idea generation platform that ties together all corners of your business. It’s important to blend different divisions and skill sets into the mix to get new perspectives on old challenges.
If you’re looking for more great ways to generate ideas, check out our blog post on blue-sky brainstorming.
Collaborate and curate
Once the ideas start rolling in, it’s only natural that your team will start to talk and visualise how they might work in practice. That’s why collaboration is such an important part of your innovation funnel – it’s the key ingredient that helps to transform abstract concepts into workable project plans. This process will help you to sort the ideas with potential from the ones that lack traction.
Select and build
After the curation process, you should have a handful of top ideas that click with your team’s vision for the company.
Now is the time to pick the ones that you think best serve the strategic challenges you face as an organisation. This is where you’ll have to think practically about your available resources and how you’re going to approach each project.
It’s also the point where you’ll want to bring in project managers to determine how you can execute each idea.
Don’t forget to get them signed off with the right stakeholders before you go ahead and build.
To learn more about solving business challenges using innovation funnels, get in touch with our innovation team. We can give you a few pointers to help you get started.