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BuildingaCultureofInnovation

July2011

ResearchBy:
EdWolf
www.LinkedIn.com/in/EdwardWolf
@DigitalDuckTape

Summary
Gartnerdefinesinnovationasthesuccessfulrealizationofnovelideasthatcreatevalueforanorganization.

Successfulinnovationrequiresacultureofcollaboration,aninvestmentofseniorleadership,nurturing,
participation,PR,andoversight.Technologycanplayanimportantroleintheprocess,butwithoutthe
otheringredients,themealwouldnotbecomplete.

IwilltrytoprovideaglimpseintowhatIhavelearnedsurroundinginnovationfrommyresearch,
includingGartner,IBMandvendorinterviews.

PrimaryObjectives
EarlierthisyearIwaschargedwithaprojecttoresearchcollaborationplatforms.Thescopewasto
investigatewaysforemployeestosubmittheirideasfornewproductsandprocesses,toencourage
innovationthroughoutthecompany.Thisprocessiscommonlyreferredtoasideation.

Thegoalsweretoidentifyaplatformthatwould:
1. Allowemployeestodescribeandsubmitideas.
2. Allowemployeestoreview,commentonandrefinesubmittedideas(crowdsourcing).
3. Nurturethebestideaopportunitieswhilefilteringoutthemediocreones.
4. Acknowledgeanemployeefortheircontributionsandparticipation.
5. Allowemployeestofollowtheirideathroughouttheprocess.
6. Easytouseandengagingforemployeesandinnovationteamalike.

WhatisanIdeationPlatform?
Ideationplatformsaresometimesreferredtoasvirtualsuggestionboxes,theseplatformscanbecome
avaluablebusinesstoolwhichengageemployeesandfosterinnovationthroughoutthecompany.

Thetypicalideationprocesscanbebrokenintothreeprimarytypes:

1. OpenIdeation:Allowingforemployeestosubmitabroadrangeofideas,acrossmanydifferent
categories.
2. Campaigns:Thesearetopicbasedideachannelswhichallowthebusinesstofocuson
generatingideasforaspecificproblem.Theseareusuallytimelimitedandallowfortargeted
ideastoberapidlygenerated.Forexample,ataQuarterlyManagementMeeting,a2week
campaigncanbecreatedtogenerateideasforreducingoperationoverheadbytheendofQ3.
3. ProcessDriven:Aproductsorservicesdevelopmentlifecyclerequiresthatideasbegenerated
frompostmortemmeetings,customerfeedback,andinternalemployeefeedback.

Figure1TypicalInnovationFunnel

AmajorconceptwithintheideationprocessistheInnovationFunnel(Figure1)showshowanideacan
materializeintoanewserviceorproductthroughamanagedprocess.Inanidealenvironment,
innovationchampions(catalysts),businesssponsorsandmanagershelpmoveandrefinetheideas
throughtheprocess.Thefunnelactsasmechanisminwhichthebestideasarefullyvettedandbrought
tomarketattheendoftheprocess.

ResearchApproach
IBMGlobalInnovationmeeting
IBMhasaworkforceofover400,000;ofwhich50%aremobileandnotinasingleofficelocation.I
lookedtoIBMtolearnhowtheymanageinnovationonaglobalscale,andlearnedthatinnovationat
thecompanyisatoppriorityandengrainedintothefabricoftheorganization.Therearepositions
withinthecompanythatsolelyfocusonfosteringinnovationthroughoutthedifferentbusinessunits.

IBMalsoengagestheiremployeestoparticipateinopenideationaswellasmonthlyIdeaJams
(campaigns).Bygivingemployeesaccesstoideasthroughoutthecompany,theyhaveeliminatedthe
siloapproachtodevelopingsolutionsfortheircustomer.Everyonecanprovideinputintonewproducts
andevendownloadprereleaseofthesoftwaretheycreatebeforeitsreleasedtothegeneralpublic.

IBMhascapitalizedonthechangesintheirworkforce(Table1).Eachgenerationbringsitsownstrengths
tothebusiness.IBMhasmadeuseoftheinnovativespiritofthemillennialgenerationwhileutilizingthe
experienceofolderemployees.Everyoneatthecompanyhasaroleintheinnovationprocess,
regardlessoftheirage.

PopulationTrends
BusinessStrength
GenerationDefining
Technologies

BabyBoomers
(Age50+)

GenerationX
(Age3550)

Growing%ofworkforce Shrinking%ofworkforce
Wisdom&Intelligence
MiddleManagement
Email
InstantMessaging

Millennials
(bornafter1980)
Growing%ofworkforce
Innovation
SocialNetworking

Table1Generationalshiftsunleashdifferentworkstyles

Inadditiontobenefitingfromgenerationaldifferences,IBMhasevolvedthewayitmanagesideation.
Figure2showsthatinaconventionalideationmodel,significanteffortandresourcesareexertedbefore
aproductiongradeproductisreadytobereleased.IntheManagedAnarchymodel,usedbyIBM,ideas
areorganicallyrefinedbyemployeesresultinginmoreideasreachingtheproductionphaseofthe
lifecycle.

Figure2IdeaManagementModels

HowGartnerSeesIdeation
UtilizingreportsfromGartner,Iwasabletoidentifyindustryleadersandbestpractices.Gartners
researchisdistinguishedbyHypeCycles;agraphicrepresentationofthematurity,adoptionandsocial
applicationofspecifictechnologies.Thecycleforemergingtechnologies(Figure3)showsthat
mainstreamadoptionofideamanagementplatformsareanywherebetween2to5yearsaway.
Furthermore,Gartnerindicatesthatexpectationsforthetechnologyaremoderatesincethesetypesof
productsarejustnowmaturingandaddingmeasurablebusinessvalue.


Figure3HypeCycleforEmergingTechnologies,2010

Gartnerskeyfindingsonideamanagementshowthat:
Innovationissupportedbyawiderangeofprocessesincludingideation,collaborativeandopen
innovation.
Innovationmanagementtechnologysupportsearlystageactivities,suchasideageneration,
evaluationandselection,aswellaslaterstageactivitiessuchasinnovationportfolio
management.
Thereislittledifferenceinbasicfeaturesofferedbyvendors,butsomeimportantdifferences
existingeographicandindustryfocus,andcompatibilitywithotherplatforms.

Gartnerhasgoneontherecordtostatethatchoosingtechnologytosupportinnovationisthelaststep
indevelopingabetterinnovationmanagementcapability.Beforeselectinganytechnology,they
recommenddeterminingprogramgoalsanddefiningprocessesforideacollection,evaluationand
selection.Itwasalsoadvisedthatusecases,orscenariosthatdescribehowyouwantprocessestowork,
beutilizedwhenchoosinginnovationmanagementvendorsratherthanrelyingsolelyoncheckliststo
gatherrequirements.
VettingVendors
UponreviewingGartnersresearch,elevenvendorswereinvitedtodemotheirproductsviaaonehour
WebExsession.AVendorEvaluationChecklist(seeAppendix)wascreatedinordertoaskkeyquestions
toallofthevendors.

Eachproductwasevaluatedonanumberofcriteriaincluding:

CompatibilitywithMac&PC
Userinterface&experience
IntegrationwithMicrosoftSharePoint
Featureset&functionality
SupportforSingleSignonandSAML
Companyhistory&clientele
Underlyingtechnologystack
BrowserIndependence
Pricing
Productrollouttime

Theevaluation(Appendix)wasthenutilizedtorankeachproductbetween1and100.Thisrankingis
whatultimatelyhelpedtoidentifythetopideationplatforms.

KeyFindings
Duringtheresearchandevaluationphase,Iheardkeythemes,includingtheneedforaculturethat
wouldacceptinnovation,thatmanagementhadfullsupportandbuyinandthattherewasawell
definedprocessinplace.

ThestudyAssessingtheStateofCollaboration:ReturntoEssentialsconductedbyAll
CollaborationinMarch2010identifiesthat,Whencollaborationisakeytocreatingvaluefor
businesssuccess,itmustbecomeacorecapabilitysomethingyouintentionallyand
deliberatelynurture,developandpractice.

Itrequiresculturechangeaimedat:

Flatteninghierarchy
Increasingtransparency
Allowingrighttalenttonaturallyflowtorightendeavorswithoutorganizationalbarriers
Establishingopencommunication
Ensuringrecognitioncommensuratewithcontributions
Firingknowitallsandgatekeepers,andsoon.

Youwillknowyouhavesucceededwhenleadingcompaniesaretryingtostealyouremployees
becauseoftheircollaborationskills.

Thisstudy,combinedwithGartnerandIBMsresearch,corroboratedeverythingthevendorsclaimed
duringtheirdemos.Itdoesntmatterwhichplatformischosenforanorganization,theoverallsuccess
ofanideationplatformdependsonculture,managementbuyin,andadefinedprocess.

ImplementationScenarios
Ihaveidentifiedafewvendorsthatcanprovidethetoolsnecessarytobuildastrongideationplatform.
Howeverinorderforthetooltobesuccessful,thecorporateculturemustembraceandsupport
innovationinitiatives.

Ultimatelytherearetwoapproachesthatcanbetakentobuildanideationplatform:
1. Divisionspecificideation:Eachbrand/product/divisionreceivestheirownideationportalwhich
canonlybeseenbyaspecificgroupofemployees.Allemployeeswouldhaveaccesstocommon
campaignsandideaareas(ie.HumanResources,Cafeteria,etc.).
2. CrossCompanyideation:Everyemployeehastheopportunitytosubmitandreviewsideasfrom
everyareaofthecompany.

Onefinalthingtoconsiderisgivingcustomerstheopportunitytoprovideideasthattheyhaveforthe
company.Dellforinstancehassolicitedover15,000ideasthroughtheirIdeaStorm.comwebsiteand
implementedover400ofthemintotheirproducts.Throughmyresearch,itwasfoundthatcustomers
haveahigherlevelofsatisfactionwhentheirfeedbackistakenintoconsiderationontheproductsthat
theypurchase.Thiscouldpotentiallyleadtonewrevenuestreamsandbuildmorebrandloyalty.

VendorEvaluationChecklist
CompanyName:

Founded:
Size:
Location:
Funding:

Clients:

Technology
Authentication:
AD

LDAP

CodingLanguage:
ASP Java C++
.Net

Compatibility
SharePointIntegration:
Yes

No

Browserindependent:
Yes

No

Mac&PCcompatible:
Yes

No

OutlookIntegration:
Yes

No

MobileVersion:
Blackberry
Tablet/iPad

Otherplatformssupported:

Implementation
DeploymentTypes:
OnPremises

Typicalrollouttime:

Timebetweenreleases:

Participationlevel:

Pricing:

SAML
PHP

Other

HTML HTML5 PythonRuby/Rails

iPhone

SaaS

Hosted


ParentCompany
CompanyFounded
Location
ADAuthentication
SSOSupport
Clients

BrainBank
None
Montreal,Canada
Yes
Yes
J&J,Aetna,Hertz,Campbell's,
Verizon(nomedia/creativecos)

SanFrancisco&NYC
Yes
Yes
Adobe,Sony,Cisco,HP,Kraft,UBS,Honeywell,
McGrawHill,AMEX

OnPremises
SaaS
Hosted
APIAvailable
SharePointIntegration
Browserindependent
Mac&PCcompatible
OptomizerdforMobile
OutlookIntegration
Timebetweenreleases

Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No(Firefox)
Unsure
Yes

No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes(webparts&searchable)
Yes
Yes
No(iPhoneAppavailable)
Email
Varies

Yes(Domino)
No
Yes
Yes
Yes(viaAPI)
Yes
Yes
Yes

PHP
6weeks
2040%
Billbynumberofactiveusers

Notes

CodingLanguage
Typicalrollouttime
Participationlevel
Pricing

Brightidea
None
1999

Minor:Quarterly
Major:Annually
ASP.Net
2530%
SingleInstance,1DB,unlimited
users
$84k
3daysconsulting
1monthassistance
100hrssupport
17%maintainence

Elguji
None

2000

2,500users,unlimitedcampaigns:~$60k/year
SAMLconnection:$6,500
Doesoffer110,20campaignpricing

Hype
Imaginatik
InductSoftware
InnoCentive
InovaSoftware
Kindling
MindMatters
Spigit
DiamlerChryster(spunoff2001)
None
None
EliLilly(until2005)
VerticalI
Arc90
None
None
2001
1997
2007
2001
1999
2006
2000
2006
Washington
Denver,CO&BonnGermany
Boston,MA&London
Norway
Waltham,MA&Cincinati,OH
NYC&Lyon,LA
NewYork,NY
Pittsburgh,PA
Boston,MA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Citigroup,EsteeLauder,JPMorgan,
GE,HP,Boeing,Chevron,Dow,PitneyBowes,GoodYear Bostonhospitals,MediaNorway(50Customers,
NASA,P&G.TheEconomist,Roche,SAP, P&G,GSK,Roche,Michelin,Pfizer,Loreal,J&J, AOL,Gannett,HarperCollins(and 3M,Electrolux,J&J,Seagate,
IBM,TJMaxx,Michlin(nocustoers P&G,LockheedMartin,General
HoltonMifflin,DeutscheBank,NYC
expandingtoUS)
Toyota
Genentech(over70cos)
smallercreativecos)
Travelocity,Sony(notawareof
inmedia)
Mills,GEglobalresearch,Siemens, (Nopublishingcompanies)
publishingclients,mostlyacademiaand (125customers)
NASA,Roche(140isntallationsno
hightech)
mediacompanies)
2007

Varies

Onpremisis
$15kunlimited
20%maintainence

Yes
No
Yes(Cloud,Rackspace)
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Email
Minor:67weeks
Major:Annually
Java
35weeks
10% 2550%
45kusers:$150200k
18%maintainence
Unsureofpricingfor10kusers

Hosted
Unsure,butmoreexpencivethan
onprem

None
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes(ViaAPI)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Email
Major:68months
Notes

Basedonnumberofactiveusersandchallenges
3monthpilot,4kusers:$30k
Includesconsultingandtrainingandchallenges

No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Email
Monthly

No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Email
Quarterly

ASP.net

Java,Tomcat

30% Unknown
DesperateforUSclients,pricingwillnotbeaproblem $90k:StartupFee
$2k$6k:Extrachallengeoverage
$59k$239k:QuaerterlyFee
~$100peruser
eg.25kemployees:$20peruser

10instances,5kusers:$50k+$20kconsulting

Willrequire1015dausprofessionalservices
($1,500$1,800/day)

Professionalservicesavailable

Nomaintainence
Multipleinstances
$250k

Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Email
Minor:Semiannual
Major:Annualy
Java,Tomcat
1015days
Unknown
$75kperserverunlimitedideas
Manager:$450/peruser
Director:$400/peruser
20%Maintainence

Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes(viaAPI)
Yes(noIE7)
Yes
Email
Quarterly
Unknown

Billedby#usersannually
Saas5k:$175k/yr
OnPrem:~same

No
Yes
Yes(Expedian)
Yes
Yes(viaAPI)
Yes
Yes
No
Yes(viaAPI)
Varies
Java
60% 6065%
Flagpole/StageTrak
500:$6k/yr
5,000:$8,300/yr
10,000:$12,800/yr

No
Yes
No
No
Yes(SigitEngage)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Minor:Quarterly
Major:9months
Java
35%
Priceon#users
5,000:$25k/yr
10,000:$145k/yr
SpigitEngage:$182k/yr
Candomultiyeardeals

Innovator
$40150k
HostingRateadditional

Adhoc
$899/month200users

Hostedsoultionadditional$10k
Notes

Differentrolesideachampion, Webstorm:Whatemployeessee
catalyst,sme
Switchboard:manageideasanddevelopfurther
Lotsofworkflowsandoptions
Pipeline:lightppmsolution
Duplicateideafilter
APIavailable
Userscanlistskillsandexpertise Verynice,facebooklikeUI&UXnearlysame
Canfullybuildoutinformationfor features
implementer
Canfillinownexpertskills
Rankingtableisdashboardofbest Canpullinfoinfromothersystems(idimges)
ideas
Candraftideas
Canexporttoproject
Pointsarecustomizableforincentives
managementtools
Challengescanhavecustompages
Cancreatecustomformsand
Widgetarchitectureisdraganddropconfig
reports
Candoteamideasubmissions
Raltimeduplicatechecker
Questionsneedansweringbeforeideasubmission
Learnsyourpreferencesandpatterns
Differentvotingcollectiondevices
Cangivepeoplecampaignmanagerrights
Supportsfullworkflow,idea>project
Pilotprogramavailablefor4months$35k

Figure4VendorComparisonResearchResults

Cansetuppublicpagefor
registration
OfferAPIfordataextraction
HasRSSpartsforsharepoint
Linearcommentingsystem
LousyUIandlimitedWYSIWYG
editor
Pointsreceivedfortheidea,
doesntencouragerewards
Reportingandsearchisrobust
Nativemobilesite

Supportscampaigns/challenges
andopenideas
80%customersruninternal
VeryniceUI
Orgchartsavailable
Autoupdatesasyoufillin
information
Votebymorethanjustyes/no
Robustsearchcapability
Innovationpointslinkwith
rewardssystems
Canlinkbetweenideas
Managementreviewisin
scorecard
Veryeasyandinteractiveto
changeUIelements
Canexportideastoprebuilt
reports
Canassignresourcesandproject
management
Verystrongreportingandanalytics

Ideation,evaluationandreviewistheirfocus
Challengebased
Showssimilarideasinrealtime
UIisverycleanandmodern
oIdeareviewisveryweird
Userscanestablishaprofile
oInformationcanbesiphonedfromothersystems
Ideasrankedviakudosandregularvoting
oKudosrateshowhotanideaisfromcomments,votes,
etc
Commentsareinthreadedforums
Peerreviewallowsforreviewingofothersideas
NicereportingUIanddifferentwaystolookatideas
Reviewerscanbeassignedtoindividualideas
Canestablishandexpertineachchallenge
Headtoheadreviewmakesyoucompare2ormore
differentideas
oGivesnumericalweighingofcostandvalueplusother
metrics
Overalltheirprocessissubjectiveandquantitative

Supportsfullprocessofideation>PPM
Treatdifferenttypesofinnovationdifferentlythan
rest
MediaNorwayparticipationis9095%,sometimes
less
Strongsearchenginetosiftthroughinfoandfind
similarorunknownideas
Supportschallengesandideas
Focusismostlyonsearchandknowledge
management
UIisnotthebest,customizablebutconfusing
Kindofhassharepointrevisionsystem
Hasaprocessstepandgatekeepersbasedontype
ofinnovation
Reportingandanalyticsavailable
Verydetailedevaluationofideas
Accesscontrolcanlimitwhatideaspeoplesee
WorkingonimportingADhierarchyEtasummer
2011
Confusingadministration
Stepsactuallydontdoanything

Challengedriveninnovation
oInternalandexternalchallenges
Moreofaglobal/crowdsourcingapp
TerribleUIandUX
Commentsarelikeaforumthatsupport
postranking
Encourageschallengecoaches
Surveysattheendofchallengeto
measuremetrics

Canputspecialtiesinprofile
Assessmentfeaturecomingin Expertisewithlargecomplex
Largestinideationspace
environments
Twinslistlinkspeoplewiththoseofsimilar fewmonths
Launchedmostcompanies
Needexecutivebackingandfunding SpigitengageforSharePointcan
interests
Superadminandadmins
tosupportprocess
Challengesandideassupported
permissiontovoteand
migratefromSaaSversion(6mos
MSSQLneededforDB
Canreboundideasandcreatesimilarideas
recommend
away)
Recommendsideastousers
Cancheckforduplicateideas
Timechallengemethodology(post Facebookcommunityapplication
basedonhistory
available
Discussionforms
questions)vsopenforum
Trackschangeswikistyle
Userscansubscribetoideasand
Tasksaretheretohelpevaluateideas
oCansupportchallengesandopen
tellfriends
Insightsresearchreports,callcenterinfoetc Highengagementrate
ideas
Roomscategoriesof
Cancheckforduplicateideas
canbeadded
CustomizableUI
conversations
oNotrobust
oKnowledgebrokersaddthis
BulletinboardUIfortouchscreen
FusionisnotPLMspigitstopat
oHastobeinindexbutcanconnectoutbound oRoombyroompermissions
(TechBar?)
(sharepoint)
FlagpoleandStageTrakare2
Cantseeallideasbyroom
endofideation
Stimulilinksouttootherstimuligraphically
Campaignstimesensitivecallto independentapps
Earnvirtualcurrencytoinvestin
3levels,manager,user,director
Manuallyhavetoattachdocuments ideas
action
inStageTrak
Cutsdownonduplicateideas
oLinkedtoinnovationstore
Lotsofgraphicalanalysis
Supportgantcharts
Emailnotificationsbyroom
IntegrateswithLinkedIn
Notechnicalincentiveimplementation
Publicandprivatediscussions, Flagpoleis2yrsold,innovatorismore
comprehensive
plusRSS
APItobasecamp/Sharepoint