What Problems Can be Solved with Open Innovation| By |Jessica Day

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The Harvard Business Review discussed the different types of innovation within a company’s portfolio in their article “Managing Your Innovation Portfolio.” What they found was that “Companies that allocated about 70% of their innovation activity to core initiatives, 20% to adjacent ones, and 10% to transformational ones outperformed their peers, typically realizing a P/E premium of 10% to 20%.” They also noted that the return on that investment was inverse (the 10% of time spent on transformational change yielded a 70% return when successful, and so on).

But they didn’t discuss the different types of solutions that organizations are looking for when they launch an innovation program. However, in a recent survey of IdeaScale customers, we asked how they are currently innovating and this is the range of projects that innovators are currently solving with innovation management software (the most commonly sought solutions appear at the top):

  • Finding process improvement opportunities. This could be anything from ways for employees to save time to new processes that lead to increased performance and better efficiencies. This could be inside a company’s processes or opportunities for improvement within the value chain.
  • Improving existing offerings. This is usually incremental change to the core offering, but leveraging the power of the crowd not only gives new ideas, but also helps to prioritize what sorts of change is most important.
  • Improving employee satisfaction. Asking for ideas from employees is a great way to improve an organization’s culture, but employees are also a great resource when it comes to ideas that will improve their culture, as well.
  • Identifying cost savings opportunities. The ability to measure the value of these types of campaigns is often one of its advantages. This includes ways to save money on process, product, new partnerships, and more.
  • Sourcing new offerings. These changes are on the transformational side of the business, the ones that are looking down the road a bit to see what the company’s offering should look like in the future based on current trends and customer needs.
  • Improving customer experience. These campaigns are generally looking to improve NPS scores by prioritizing ideas that will improve the customer experience.
  • Enacting social change. From ideas for improving healthcare ideas to new offerings in public education, these innovators care about making the world a better place.
  • Identifying new markets or business models. Although only a small segment of innovators are focusing on this, everyone agrees that seeking a new market or business model can offer a huge transformational return on investment.
  • Market research. These more open feedback campaigns can be used for trend tracking of feedback on particular notions.
  • Sourcing sustainability solutions. More and more companies care about reducing carbon footprint, improving energy efficiency, and become a more responsible organization.

To learn more from IdeaScale’s customer data, download the 2017 Crowdsourced Innovation Report.

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