To handle innovation, change management, and innovation management systematically, and to be able to create something new in the field of the digital workplace, it’s all about staying in motion – as a team, not just as individuals.
Regardless of the industry, every company is now a digital company. Harnessing possibilities and tackling risks of the modern business environment is all about using digital tools in a more efficient way. We wanted to showcase to you how we handle the ideation process and innovation management within Valo.
Innovating is a group effort
In our Valo Team, we have great individuals but product development and innovation is a team effort. Our Valo Partner ecosystem, and the ideas from the end-customers using Valo tools to run their digital workplaces, are as valuable, if not even more valuable, than our own.
What you can achieve with a team is greater than what you can achieve on your own.
There’s a need to have more competencies and people working together, figuring out how this complexity of the modern digital world is made to work in our favor. It’s not about individual-level innovation – it’s about cross-competency team innovation and co-operation.
Even though we are driving to control a systematic flow of ideas, we’re at the same time trying to accommodate “happy occurrences” by creating circumstances where individual ideas are further developed together.
There’s even a term for it – “serendipity” – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. To innovate something truly new, we want people from very different competencies to offer their viewpoints and insights into the development of the idea.
A use-case for example for a product functionality is seen very differently depending on the role you work in and what kinds of problems you are trying to solve in your daily work.
How to get the whole team involved
From the ideas we have in our own Valo Ideas environment, you can typically identify the best ones by looking at which idea has attracted the most attention and conversation. Rating ideas injects an element of gamification into the process and lets the team be the judge of what’s a great idea and what’s not.
The Valo Ideas leader boards for top contributors and most liked ideas is a virtual badge of honor for team members that have contributed to the shared innovation process. As a result, any employee can react and will contribute to the ideas or suggestions they find valuable to help improve or even solve them.
Still, for some ideas, we want to first operate within a smaller team before going public to the whole organization – which is possible to do in Valo Ideas.
Culture and systematic ways of working
Getting the right tools in place is the easy part. Technically Valo Ideas can be taken into use super-quickly, but it’s never only about technical tools.
Having ideas visible to the whole organization enables the right circumstances for innovation – but a culture that allows dialog within the organization is the fuel required for crowdsourcing the innovation process.
Getting the best ideas out of people is all about the right mindset and co-operation, making sure no great idea goes to waste is about being systematic within your innovation management process.
The best ideas often come out in side notes and comments, and with Valo Ideas, you can promote a comment in Teams channel to an actual idea. This way the smallest things can grow to be the next big thing!
We have 60+ people in over 10 countries and work in a distributed environment, so it is more difficult to have meetings with everyone due to time-zone restrictions. Yet, with Valo Ideas we are not limited to share ideas and topics in meetings. It can be done 24/7, whenever, where ever!
In Valo we aim to systematically process all ideas from start to finish
We hosted our very own Valo Strategy and Innovation days in early September. For these we used pre-tasks, keynotes and then 19 workshops to create a platform for new ideas, everything from ways of working, to new features, to improving marketing, Partner support.. You name it, we thought about it.
We gathered 164 individual ideas all together into an Excel file. We noticed that some ideas came up in multiple sessions and we knew right away there was a need for action.
As we didn’t want to have over 100 ideas on the Valo Ideas board at the same time, our facilitator group went through all the ideas, combining the overlapping ones. We finally decided to put approx. three ideas/session onto our internal Valo Ideas.
What happened to the rest? They are stored in our Idea catalogue, and available for everyone to see. There is a named owner for each idea, and we have follow-up sessions, open reporting and so much more. So you could really say that Valo Ideas let us build cars instead of faster horses.
By being transparent and democratic, we motivate people in the process – and for the concrete steps taken based on the ideas, this means more automatic buy-in from employees.
If you want to see Valo Ideas in action, don’t forget that we have a full-on webinar that showcases this to you! Alternatively, you can take a look at our product page to get a bigger picture at a glance.
Fore more information about how you can successfully launch an ideation tool within your organization read our Head of North America’s blog on “4 Tips for Successfully Launching An Ideation Tool” + for more ideas on how to use an ideation tool read his follow up blog on “5 Ways To Innovate Using An Ideation Tool.”