If ideas are the seeds of innovation, idea management is the formalization of the processes involved in gathering, sharing, analyzing and executing the ideas generated within an organization and its collaborative networks.
Ideation and idea management pack the front end of the New Product Development (NPD) funnel with a wealth of viable concepts. Since only a fraction of ideas actually reach fruition, ideation should be harnessed by a process with dedicated resources and with both NPD & LTD (Long Term Development) teams working together.
Ideations can take many different forms. They can be solutions, where there is a problem, there is a solution waiting to be found, they can be evolutionary, by modifying an existing product or adding a feature to it, or they can be symbiotic, combining multiple ideas, using different elements of each to make a whole. Other categories forms include revolutionary ideations (a brand new perspective), ideations that are serendipitous; where the intended idea is generated by the unexpected, targeted, dealing with a direct and planned path to discovery, or even artistic, disregarding practicality and allowing ideas to flow without constraints.
Whichever form your ideas take, how you manage them dictates the outcome of each endeavor. Frequent and intelligently facilitated ideation sessions lead to successful new products… and the much sought after AHA! or Eureka! moment.
Getting back to the business of ideation, here are some idea management tips to help you succeed:
Last but not least, start with White Boarding or Brain writing versus just Brainstorming and when on doubt, ask your Innovation Coach about this¹.
By Robert F. Brands
About the Author
Robert F. Brands is President and founder of Brands & Company, LLC. Having gained hands-on experience in bringing innovationto market, creating and improving the necessary product development processes and needed culture, he delivered and exceeded to bring “at least one new product per year to market” resulting in double digit profitable growth and shareholder value.
Robert is the founder of Innovation Coach.com, he is an innovation speaker and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation, a 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival” with Martin Kleinman published March, 2010 by Wiley. The book contains assessment tools, tips, in depth chapters on the importance of Intellectual Property, working with multinational teams and more. For more information on New Product Development Process or any of the other imperatives please visit RobertsRules ofInnovation.com.