L'collaborative innovation is a method for boosting business growth and employee commitment at the same time. It is based on a conviction: it is by mobilising the collective intelligence of employees that the most original and effective solutions are proposed. In other words, the field contributes to making your company more efficient. But how do you put it in place? The key is idea management.

collaborative innovation : what is it?

collaborative innovation is about broadening the scope of stakeholders in innovation. In other words, innovation no longer depends solely on an R&D department. It can emerge anywhere in the company, thanks to employees or various stakeholders. In this case, the challenge is to structurecollaborative innovation, to give it a framework, so that projects and ideas emerge under the best conditions.

Thecollaborative innovation can therefore be both internal and external:

  • Internally, it is based on the ideas and initiatives of employees. It breaks down the traditional silos of the company, organised into departments that do not really communicate with each other.
  • Externally, it relies on views from outside the company and on partners.

The benefits ofcollaborative innovation

Thecollaborative innovation has a multitude of advantages for your company:

  • Develop creative synergies between the different stakeholders
  • Valuing the creativity of employees by showing them how they can have an impact on the destiny of their company
  • Involve employees in the projects that are important to the company and no longer limit them only to their areas of expertise identified at the time of recruitment
  • To make all employees aware of what innovation is , leading to a real change in mentality, an essential and unavoidable component of the digital transition so much hoped for by managers
  • Bringingout new talent and skills, even discovering new drivers and unexpected internal leaders
  • Stimulate cross-functional collaboration by bringing together skills, backgrounds and personalities

The challenge: idea management

As mentioned above,collaborative innovation requires a framework. Indeed, in order to bring out ideas in the best possible conditions,collaborative innovation requires a method. But how do you know which method is the right one to use? Start by finding out about crowdfunding methods: sites like KissKissBankBank do just thatcollaborative innovation ! Indeed, they allow everyone to propose ideas, which can emerge thanks to the support of the community.

[Read also: The stages of thecollaborative innovation - INFOGRAPHY]

There are three phases in idea management:

1- The idea proposal phase

You need to give your staff a framework to come up with their ideas.

2- Processing of ideas

Not all ideas proposed by contributors should be published without a moderation phase. So, once the ideas are proposed by the contributors, you have to qualify them. In other words, rank them, evaluate them and score them. We recommend that you set up an "innovation committee" (composed of members of your choice) to do this moderation work. Each member of the innovation committee will qualify and evaluate the ideas, until an average is obtained which will decide whether the project deserves to be published or not.

3- The emergence of projects

Once the innovation committee deems an idea worthy of emergence, it can be published. From then on, as on KissKissBankBank, it will be submitted to the vote and support of all employees. It is they who will determine whether they want to see the project emerge or not.

What to do with the unsuccessful ideas?

Some ideas will not make it through the idea processing stage, this is normal. Nevertheless, always give an explanation when you do not retain an idea. Does the employee need to rework the idea? Is it not in line with the company's current objectives? In short, give reasons. Because if the objective ofcollaborative innovation is to motivate employees to commit themselves to the company, it would be a shame to offend them and generate the opposite effect.

Do you want to implement idea management in your company?