Ideation Platforms – Use a digital platform to get the benefits of crowdsourcing innovation either internally, or with the public. Ideation is a new twist on the old ‘suggestion box’ that gives ideas way more visibility to ensure they get discussed and enhanced through collaboration, rather than gathering dust.
Without ownership, good ideas can easily die on the vine. DOTs must work to give ownership to idea generators by letting them prove the business case and then committing to implement where the case is proven. To avoid an ‘its not my baby’ attitude among employees, avoid a strict ‘gate-keeper’ culture around innovation, in which a small group anoints ideas; there is no way that will kill an innovation program more quickly.
Experienced leaders in innovation find that it is literally an impossible task to police innovation. A much more practical strategy is to let ideas stand or fall on their relative merits (in terms of cost and time savings or customer satisfaction improvements and alignment with mission critical goals like mobility, safety or preservation) rather than try to judge every idea and say no to some, which shuts down innovation.
Control risk by piloting risky innovations first, so the costs of failure are contained. Training helps employees learn how to spot and refine ideas, so they are more likely to succeed, rather than fail. Be prepared to move on quickly if an idea proves unsuccessful.