Generating Ideas for Innovation

How do ideas get into your company? Well, relevant ideas should come from all areas of the company if possible. Listen to your customers. Observe how your customers’ customers interact with your products. Also involve suppliers in the idea generation process.

Closed networks feed their development processes from a limited source (monovation), while open networks include any number of sources in their development processes (polyvation). Much of the benefit to the network and to the participants comes precisely from the openness of the network, which allows external stimuli to be internalized. Open systems that actively share knowledge are therefore more adaptable and capable of evolving than closed ones, and perform better than closed systems that simply absorb and use available knowledge.

You can ensure relevant market information through an ongoing corporate foresight process.

Don’t be miserly when it comes to ideas: it can be ideas on how to solve existing problems, it can be ideas on how to do something better, easier or cheaper to implement, it can also be ideas for something completely new. Use creativity techniques. Do not rule anything out during the idea gathering phase. Do not simply dismiss any idea.

However, it is already worthwhile putting ideas into a structure. First of all, it is interesting to see whether it is an idea for a possible product innovation or an idea for a new application of an essentially existing product. Perhaps it is also an idea for a process innovation or for a service innovation or for a new revenue and profit model. It may also be possible to assess the degree of innovation at this early stage. Is it a real innovation in the market or rather an imitation of proven features?

It would be helpful if the individual customers or customer segments were named for which this innovation could be applied. From this, it might be possible to estimate the potential for implementing the idea. It would also be interesting to know whether the implementation has a one-time effect or a repeat effect and perhaps even scaling potential. Perhaps even the size of the annual contribution margin or annual savings potential can be estimated. From the answers, determine how much effort should be invested in implementation.

But also look at marginal effects as early as possible: Who would be affected by the implementation of your idea? How should you deal with these stakeholders? Can you possibly involve them in the implementation to avoid “headwind”?


What are your challenges?

Restart Dialogue