The methodology that we baked into the platform is based on decades of Innovation experience. In all these years, we learned a lot, and the risk is always that you build a lot of features into the innovation platform. We did not want to create the Microsoft Office of Innovation, with hundreds of features…there are other platforms that try to do that. The balance we have to strike is what do we do via the platform, and what do we do outside – software vs. methodology.

One step that I deem very important for the credibility of the process is the Sponsor follow-up. Sam Palmisano, the former CEO of IBM, summarized this very simply after one the IBM Jams : “If you unleash all this energy, opinions and hope, you better be prepared to do something in response”.

The Innovation Challenge is not a “feel good” event, but a collective effort that needs to be acted upon, otherwise the credibility of the process, and the Sponsor, will be eroded. If Innovation Challenges intent is to be launched on a periodic basis, the next wave of the Challenge is also a great time to reiterate what was completed.

I will leave you with a good example of doing just that, from the well known Starbucks myIdea challenge – it gives a lot of confidence that the ideas were acted upon.

innovation challenge next steps

innovation challenge next steps

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