How Do You Manage Ideation?

by Jessica Day

How Do You Manage Ideation?A great deal of time and research is dedicated to innovation processes. If you want to know the average level of engagement and about 900 different theories on how to bring a crowd to your problem, you’ll have the top five institutions competing with papers. If you want use case scenarios and industry adoption, you’ll be able to find even that after some digging.

What is surprising to me is that there isn’t a whole lot of research dedicated to managing the innovation or ideation process. The moderation tasks that it takes to wrangle a community of ideas, opinions, and people can be considerable. The reason is, I would hazard, because every organization has a different process that is appropriate to their goals. Depending on what one is trying to achieve and the type of business they are serving, the style and approach can vary wildly.

Even so, IdeaScale decided to get in touch with some of the most successful clients and ask how they incentivized moderation, what they expected of their moderators, and how they evangelized their community into participating in the moderation process. The results that we shared were a wide variety of tips that serve ideation at any level. Here’s a preview of what we found:

Recruit Subject Matter Experts:
A curated conversation depends on quality dialogue. The more those in your community know about the ideas being addressed, the more thoughtful their responses will be. Identify thought leaders within an organization to help drive the conversation and assess ideas.

In Action:
One IdeaScale customer requires that the head of every department own the review and moderation of each idea related to their discipline. The idea is that they will provide the best responses and have more insight about what is possible and what is not.

Reward Moderators:
Moderators do most of the heavy lifting in your community: monitoring for appropriate content, maintaining responsiveness, evaluating ideas for feasibility and applicability, stewarding them through the lifecycle. Rewarding good moderation will create better moderators and therefore a better ideation process.

In Action:
IdeaScale offers a gamified system that awards a badge to the moderator who has completed the most moderation activities (moving ideas through the lifecycle, approving members or comments). Rewarding the individual who earns this badge (free burrito? An extra day of PTO) will improve moderator engagement.

If you’d like the full range of insight, you can download the tip sheet here.

How do you manage worthwhile ideas? How do you motivate a community to join in the moderation process?

image credit: bmore.co.il

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