Exago at INDEG’s Executive MBA

Why is collaborative innovation imperative for companies today? Exago’s CEO, Diana Neves de Carvalho, met with students from the INDEG-ISCTE Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) programme, in Lisbon, to debate innovation management’s main challenges and opportunities for businesses. Diana also shared insights into how to ensure success in implementing idea management software, based on customer examples.

‘Incremental collaborative innovation is a cornerstone of any resilient innovation programme, offering many possible focus applications: from process, product and service improvement to customer experience enhancement, cost optimisation and digitisation of core business,’ Exago’s CEO told the audience. She also explained how idea management software can be a powerful lever in this process ‘if well-tuned to a company’s innovation maturity level’, and by incorporating the wisdom of crowds and a predictive market mechanism.

Diana was invited to present real case studies, share insights and discuss the potential of innovation management solutions for companies. Isabel Caetano, who teaches innovation management classes in the EMBA, further underlined how ‘innovation management is a crucial competence to improve our students’ ability to nurture an innovative organisation, as well as to enable a more global career’.

Now in its thirteenth edition, the INDEG-ISCTE EMBA gives its graduates the skills to reach leadership positions and leverage their organisations through value creation and business development. INDEG-ISCTE was the first business school in Portugal, and it is a leader in executive education, with several MBA programmes well positioned in global rankings.

In 2015, INDEG-ISCTE also launched its Executive Master in Innovation Management, in partnership with CTT, R&D Nester, Siemens and VORTAL – this year joined by Nokia. The programme is designed for innovators, professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to develop a more structured approach to driving innovation towards value creation.

Stars, likes, investments – pick what suits you best

From likes to star ratings and market investments – or all of them working together – the Idea Market 3.5 release integrates multiple evaluation methods to choose from while setting up each challenge. A powerful differentiator, our solution is designed to offer agile idea evaluation to find the best answers to your particular business challenges.

Based on challenge specificity, targeted community and continuous feedback, you can privilege a simpler method, such as likes, stars, or a more refined evaluation through a ‘stock market’ – our US patented model to encourage relevant participation and promote the best process output. Different challenges can co-exist simultaneously with different evaluation methods.

The flexibility and simplicity you gain eases idea management and allows you to evolve successfully throughout your innovation journey.

Want to give it a try? Get in touch!

Check out what else is new:
Exago’s brand new 3.5 release is out, and it’s more flexible than ever

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

Number 10 is all about results

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

10 best practices for cross-border innovation. Number 8 has to be properly geared

Photo: markusspiske@pixabay.com

Online platforms are powerful innovation enablers – the building blocks to produce outcomes. But they won’t stand on their own. If you want to create a true innovation culture, you need to have as many people as possible participating in the process. You need to manage those tools efficiently.

The typical suggestion box mechanism in which participants’ activity gets restricted to submitting ideas is certainly not up to the challenge. The forum model – where people can submit and comment on other people’s ideas – also has its limitations.

Your participants need to get involved in the evaluation and selection processes, as well. This is the only way to boost the scope of your target and to convince people their contributions are valued.

Idea management software, functioning as an ‘idea market’, has proven to be highly effective at unleashing your people’s and communities hidden innovation potential, crossing all boundaries. Geared to reaching goals, this gets each person to engage and participate more over time, whether you’re seeking to improve performance, find new products and methods or develop a widespread, collaborative culture of innovation.

These platforms can collect everyone’s ideas and insights, regardless of individuals’ geographical dispersion, when carefully designed to:

  • Be flexible and customisable to several languages and different look-and-feel;
  • Be inclusive, motivating different types of people;
  • Be transparent, so that participants understand the rules and constraints;
  • Provide (immediate) feedback for people to remain engaged and understand how they can improve their participation;
  • Provide social interaction, since sharing, competition and collaboration are decisive stimuli motivating people to contribute;
  • Have clear incentives and recognition mechanisms;
  • Be entertaining – using gamification mechanics, that make the process more attractive and sustainable.

Following these guidelines, we base our solutions on expert services and a software platform that mimics a stock market – all can submit, comment and next invest in the ideas they believe in, and be recognised and awarded for creating value. Using gamification, this model keeps adoption levels high over time.

Additionally, we use and recommend the adoption of prediction markets mechanisms. They allow dealing visibly with high volumes of information, typical in multinational organisations, and make decision-making more efficient, harnessing your community’s collective intelligence.

# Make participation inclusive
# Make work fun – gamify
# Use prediction markets’ powerful evaluation engine

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder

Number 9 makes this a shared journey

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

Enel’s employees present 1,300 ideas in Eidos Market’s first global edition

In a little over a month, Enel’s employees in different countries have presented 1,300 ideas to address the challenges the company launched in the Eidos Market platform. Using Exago’s idea market solution, this platform allows any participant to submit, discuss and evaluate ideas – thus engaging all staff in Enel’s shared innovation efforts.

Around 3,300 employees have already contributed to the challenges, making 2,300 comments and 6,000 evaluations. The platform works like a stock market, where anyone can invest in the ideas they believe to be more valuable, using the credits they earn for their overall participation.

In this first edition, Enel selected four main challenges: customer contact, the environment, individual roles in health and safety and the improvement of professional performance.

An active role in innovation
José Arrojo de Lamo, Enel’s head of innovation, says, ‘The secret of Eidos is not only to suggest ideas but also to develop and implement them to make sure their value reaches our business.’

Endesa, a subsidiary of the Enel group, has been using Exago’s bottom-up innovation tool since 2012, in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Building on this experience, the project has grown until, now, Eidos Market is open to all employees in the 40 countries where Enel operates.

The platform uses a predictive market algorithm developed by Exago to select top ideas efficiently. The ideas that get more support in the idea market – through the investments they attract – are then assessed by a team who decide which to implement. This model allows each employee to take an active role in the company’s future, allowing Enel to activate and harness its staff’s collective intelligence to reach common goals.

You can read more about the Eidos Market’s first edition results here (in Spanish).