If you’ve been working in the business world for more than a decade, you’ve seen some sweeping changes to the way businesses run. Business models that were once considered to be best practices are now outdated, and are being replaced by some radically different processes. Much of this change has been brought on by enormous changes in the world of technology and a great increase in worldwide connectivity. And most business owners have embraced these changes.
But while you may have quickly embraced changes to production and distribution, many business owners have overlooked one key aspect of their business that also needs to change-idea management. Innovation within a company is essential to growth, and the way that you innovate needs to adapt to the business environment. So if you haven’t caught onto the latest idea management trends yet, here are a few major changes we’ve seen in the last few years, as well as how they impact your business.
Not long ago, the task of innovation fell into the laps of a few individuals, with one person taking majority ownership in the development of these ideas. But with new technology for information gathering, as well as the incredible ability to connect with millions of individuals around the globe, more businesses are embracing the idea of cocreation.
Cocreation is the outsourcing of innovation to business partners, employees, and even consumers, allowing for many individuals to provide input and even accept ownership over developing an idea to benefit the business. As stated in an article in the McKinsey Quarterly, “By distributing innovation through the value chain, companies may reduce their costs and usher new products to market faster by eliminating the bottlenecks that come with total control.”
This innovation technique provides benefits across the board: Consumers are able to provide input for the products they consume, employees feel more engaged with their work because they can contribute something meaningful to the business, and the company as a whole cuts costs and increases profits. All in all, cocreation is the trend your company needs to follow.
Increasing Engagement with Gamification
If you’ve already begun implementing cocreation in your business, odds are you’ve encountered one major issue in your innovation programs-getting people to engage in the process. Whether you’re trying to gather input from employees or consumers, it can be difficult to get the level of engagement you were hoping for. But one recent trend has begun to solve that problem for many companies.
It’s called gamification, and many types of idea management software use this technique to create an innovation program that is actually fun to use. Gamification refers to the strategy of making an activity feel like a game, and often includes a point system, leader boards, user milestones, badges, and more. These features encourage people to take part and submit ideas that can help improve your business and its products. And of course, the more engagement you can get, the more useable input you’ll receive.
Relying on Data for All Decisions
While data has always been important in the business world, it used to just be a small part of what went into making business decisions. In fact, one might argue that only a few decades ago, “going with your gut” was the preferred method. But modern business owners rely more heavily on data to make decisions, and that includes decisions regarding business innovations. According to one paper, by 2020, the most successful organizations will be “using enterprise data and advanced analytics as competitive assets” throughout their businesses. Lucky for those businesspeople, the incredibly connectivity of the modern world makes it possible to collect enormous amounts of data in a very small amount of time.
With social media polls, online surveys, algorithms tracking consumer trends, and many other data-producing technologies, it’s little wonder that numbers will be the basis for virtually every business decision in the very near future.
So if your company isn’t employing these innovation management trends, it’s time to get on board. If you don’t, you just might be left in the dust.