Collaborative intelligence and idea management in unusual times

It is people who make the world go round. Their ideas, their creativity, their ambition, their willingness and their ability to work as a team can overcome the most difficult obstacles.

The best ideas usually come from groups of people; professionals who pool their knowledge and experience to advance the organisation in which they work. These are ideas that improve the company’s internal functioning, making it more agile and flexible, that reduce costs, that increase productivity, that reveal new markets, that spot how to reach new customer segments.

Historically, this teamwork has not been successful in Southern European countries. Culturally speaking, the philosophy of “we are what we are, for better or for worse” tends to reign here. But the pretexts for not adopting this concept wholeheartedly – this way of working with proven success – are over.

 

THE TIME FOR COLLABORATIVE INTELLIGENCE

The time has come for companies to take serious advantage of collaborative intelligence. Now is when we must establish idea management systems that reinforce the necessary changes and adaptations that almost every organisation must undertake as soon as possible.

Technology is here to help us. No more old suggestion boxes that hardly anyone actually used. It also doesn’t make much sense for a company department to create an email address (the digital version of the methacrylate mailbox) to receive ideas. No. None of this. What will help us channel the suggestions for improvement at this time is an online platform designed specifically for this purpose.

 

THE ADVANTAGES OF AN IDEA MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The first goal of a company is simple: to make money. A profitable company creates wealth in the form of employment, innovation, work for other companies, personal lives, professional careers and what it contributes to the community in which it is established. To achieve this goal, you need to take advantage of all the resources you have, and do so with a method in place and an open mind.

That is where idea management systems come in. They are platforms that channel the ideas and proposals that countless of your employees will undoubtedly have. The advantages of an idea management system are:

  • It creates a sense of belonging to the organisation. The fact that each employee knows that his or her ideas count encourages more involvement.
  • It makes everyone feel part of the R&D department. It is not limited to a group of geeks who speak their own indecipherable language, but rather anyone who has a good idea can present it.
  • Its transparency encourages participation in the company. That legitimate fear of others taking advantage of one’s ideas is behind us. Now you know who is behind each idea and who supports it. This fosters a more collaborative environment, both virtually and face-to-face.
  • It encourages teamwork. A good idea usually requires the input of several areas of knowledge: sales, product development, finance… The fact that people from different departments make up the team that proposes such improvement is a great example for the rest of the organisation.
  • It improves communication within the company. As a result of the point above, there is a flow of information, and participation among professionals from various areas helps it spread to the rest of the organisation.
  • It reduces operating costs. Since almost all workers understand that the more profitable their company is, the better it will be for them, they will actively contribute to this goal.
  • It helps identify the employees that contribute the most value. Or the most ambitious, the most creative, the best team leaders or managers. It provides the HR department with useful information when deciding appointments and promotions.
  • It replaces the habit of complaining with a culture of ideation. See something you don’t like? Instead of protesting, think of ways to overcome that problem.
  • It makes the company much more agile. As the idea management system gathers the ideas that employees share based on what they see in their day-to-day life, and on the basis of the data they manage, they are able to better foresee what’s to come.
  • It presents a competitive advantage. A company that knows how to harness the creative energy of its workforce will have a much easier time getting ahead of its market. In this instance, there are many more people searching for and articulating innovative ideas, which are channeled and materialised thanks to this internal innovation management system.

There are many reasons for adopting an effective idea management system. Each company will decide which of them are more aligned with its objectives, although from experience we know that this list covers the interests of the vast majority.

 

IN SUMMARY

Would you be interested in learning more about how to channel your employees’ ideas? Get in touch. This time of confinement for professionals, who are still working thanks to the remote-working formula, is perfect for introducing new features into our company culture. New measures for strange times.

Investing in a plan to take advantage of employee initiatives, as well as idea management software, is investing in the future of the company. There is a lot of work – and many opportunities – ahead. A change of mentality is needed to take advantage of this new way of working.

When things return to a relative degree of normality, we will ask ourselves how it is possible that we had not previously adopted methods that leverage the rich collaborative intelligence of the people who make up our organisation.

You have probably been thinking about including something similar in your organisation for some time. It’s time to stop thinking about and time to start doing it. These are the 6 key dimensions you should look out for when choosing an innovation management software.

Start by listening methodically to the ideas of your people. And implement the best ones. Can you imagine the success of launching a challenge in which you ask, for example, what new products or services could your company offer? Or what new markets to enter? Your professionals have the answers, and they will be happy to be a part of your future success.

Your income statement will thank you.

    Alberto Losada Gamst, Exago Partner, Founding Partner of Avantideas

Restart together

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