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I recently came across a Wall Street Journal article about the growing number of companies that are turning to their employees for new and innovative ideas. The article cites research that states that the average employee's ideas are implemented just once every six years1. In a world where companies prize product feedback, I find this statistic surprising. Couldn't some of the most transformational business ideas come from the people within the organization itself?
Fortunately, many companies are beginning to realize the value of employee input and have turned to idea management software like Accept360 Ideas™ as a Web 2.0 version of the suggestion box. Employees can submit, vote on, and discuss ideas on topics ranging from product enhancements to workplace improvements. IdeasAmerica conducted a study that found that suggestions are saving an average of $1,256 in time, labor, materials, and energy. From an ROI perspective alone, idea management software is a solid investment.
But I would argue that the impact of internal innovation goes beyond hard cost savings. Some ideas can improve workplace and company culture. Great ideas can even lead to new revenue opportunities for the company. Most importantly, idea management systems, if implemented well, can motivate employees to use their creativity beyond the limits of their defined role.
Accept360 Ideas is an on-demand idea management solution that helps you harness the collective wisdom of your community by engaging customers, partners, suppliers, and employees in an "always on" conversation about your products and services. Learn more about Accept360 Ideas.
1Professor Alan G. Robinson, Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.