Decisions, decisions…

Be it through team idea contests or widespread programmes, we are enthusiasts of innovation’s number one rule: Give your teams a voice. Gather suggestions and insights and build on that knowledge together, as innovation becomes simply your way to do business.

One way or another, true employee engagement is more complicated than it seems, and it needs so much more than a carrot and stick philosophy. Millennial engagement? That raises the stakes even further. So, why not make participation more appealing, with fun challenges?

These days, we’re testing it for you!

The idea management challenge. How do they do it?

The Brazilian company Fleury – a leading provider of clinical analyses in Latin America – has currently more than 10,000 employees. All can participate in Fleury’s innovation efforts. In 2007, the company initiated a programme to encourage suggestions for how to improve its operations, allowing all employees to submit ideas on paper, which were then evaluated by an innovation committee. A software platform helped, in general, to collect ideas, supporting the programme.

But, the significant amount of work involved in evaluating these ideas led Fleury to consider an alternative. To optimise the process, in 2011, the Fleury group next adopted the Central de Ideias (Idea Market). Created by Exago, this innovation management solution is a software platform where all stakeholders can make their contributions – not only collecting and harnessing everyone’s ideas but also evaluating them.

Within a single year, the results overtook even the most ambitious targets:

  • Ideas submitted – escalating from 1,809, in 2011, to 7,269, in 2012, when the new model was implemented (an increase of more than 400%)
  • Ideas approved – more than doubling, from 443 to 946
  • Ideas implemented – increasing from 225 to 300
  • Stakeholders involved – growing from 712 to 3,309 people (and 15 months after implementing and disseminating Exago’s model, more than 70% of Fleury’s staff had actively joined in).

Fleury’s innovations have generated millions of reais in value. They’ve reduced operating costs and introduced more efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly processes. So far this year, almost 8,000 participants are still interconnected and actively participating, and 600 ideas have come to life. People have become the centre of Fleury’s culture of innovation.

In this way, the company has managed to tackle the three central challenges identified above: to create high levels of mobilisation and engagement, to be extremely efficient in the process of idea evaluation and to sustain high levels of participation over time (i.e. avoiding creating an initial peak followed by a drastic fall in participation).

At Exago, we’ve worked with extraordinary clients, such as Fleury, and others from pharmaceutical, banking, utilities and telecommunications industries – across four continents – to help them mobilise targeted communities to solve key business problems by learning from them and with them. What do we then believe to be the 3 key success factors of innovation management? We’ll see that next.

READ MORE:
The first of 3 key success factors of innovation management

FROM THE START:
Can you master the 3 key success factors of innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com

ELIS launches open innovation challenge for social and individual development

Associazione Centro ELIS, a non-profit organisation focused on preparing both young and adults for the labour market, is calling on its main stakeholders and Italian universities students to get involved in social and individual development efforts. ELIS, in association with ENEL group, wants to gather fresh insights into how to promote smarter cities, homes and manufacturing, as well as digital education and employee engagement – by using Exago’s gamified open innovation software.

Students and stakeholders are invited to submit, comment, evaluate and select the ideas they believe can meet the challenge. With a sophisticated but simple user interface, Exago’s platform allows ELIS to access external innovation sources easily and to welcome and recognise different types of participation, while rewarding all valuable contributions.

Elis hopes to ‘mobilise more easily different expertise and points of view to meet our goals of promoting vocational training and social development. We also want to find new ways to bring people, schools, universities and enterprises together, in Italy and in the developing countries were we are working”.

Founded in Rome in 1962, Associazione Centro ELIS operates with the belief that education and training are fundamental and privileged tools to promote the individual, and represent the basic and permanent values necessary to achieve social and economic values such as labour, solidarity and development. ELIS is thus committed to guaranteeing the constant adaptation of its programmes to the evolution and needs of the labour market.

10 best practices for cross-border innovation. Number 9 makes this a shared journey

Photo: Austin Ban@unsplash.com

People need to understand clearly the common innovation journey ahead, when developing your idea management programme across borders. They need to have a voice and trust the process.

Prediction markets, as mentioned, are powerful engines to generate, screen and select ideas – in the most efficient and transparent way. You should also give constant feedback on contributions and provide adequate guidance. Both on idea submission and commenting, it’s important to ‘filter’ what is not value creation and ensure people understand how they can create value and improve outcome.

Again, remember to communicate individual and group contributions to ensure transparency and reap the engagement rewards. If you don’t provide constant feedback, engagement will quickly fade away. Once credibility is lost, it’s much more difficult to get people back to the game.

# Implement transparent screening processes
# Communicate successes, contributions and outcomes

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com

READ MORE:
Number 10 is all about results

FROM THE START:
Innovation programme across borders: 10 best practices to make it work

10 best practices for cross-border innovation. Number 7 ignites motivation

Photo: Hans@pixabay.com

‘What’s in it for me?’ is the question your people will ask. Incentives motivate people. It’s not necessarily about tangible rewards such as prizes, but, most of all, recognition. Being recognised and to gain visibility inside the organisation motivates people to contribute to idea management programmes in every stage of the process – from thinking to creation to action.

Give your affiliates enough autonomy to adapt the plans to the local reality. Design your incentives model thoroughly to be productive and appealing to ensure employees are engaged and aligned with leadership agenda. The incentives can address different motivations: From simple vouchers and charity donations to opportunities to training in specific areas.

In addition, you should have a mechanism that recognises engagement. This means rewarding idea generation and participations that create value. By and by, celebrate idea implementation and identify the relevance and impact upon your business:

  • When using online participation mechanisms, you can create a virtual leaderboard. It’s a great way of showing everyone who is helping your company to create more value, across branches.
  • Acknowledge, as well, people’s contributions outside the platform – for instance, public recognition in the year-end enterprise gettogether is a strong motivator.

# Offer rewards and recognition (a.k.a incentives)
# Give constant feedback

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com

READ MORE:
Number 8 has to be properly geared

FROM THE START:
Innovation programme across borders: 10 best practices to make it work