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Mr. Manager, Tear Down This Suggestion Box!

by Ulises Pabon

photo by Allesandro Bellone

Ideas are like babies. They are extremely vulnerable at birth. Our brain doesn't spit out business cases or project plans. It spits out ideas - half-baked, incomplete, crude ideas.

Anyone and everyone can and will find an idea's faults. That's why suggestion boxes don't work. Ideas sit there, in the dark, surrounded by candy and bubble gum wraps, isolated from the world. Fast forward a couple of months and the assigned bureaucrat or committee finally opens the box, digs in, reads the idea, and inevitably concludes that the idea "doesn't work". How can it? It's not the idea that's at fault, it's the suggestion box and the sterile process behind it!

The evidence is building up. 2021 will be this decade's pivotal year. Don't wait for 2022 to bring the ideas lurking in the back of your team's mind into action. Now is the time for collaborative discussion and action. Join the hundreds of businesses that are tapping into the creativity and imagination of their workforce to grab hold of the future.

We can help you close the intent-to-realization gap with our innovation platform, powered by VIIMA software. We'll configure a virtual room that will allow your team to brainstorm ideas, collaborate virtually to strengthening ideas, combine ideas, curate ideas, and prepare ideas for implementation.

Here's a screenshot of a recent ideation session.

Note: some text has been changed or hidden to protect confidentially

Each bubble represents an idea. If you click on a bubble, it opens to give you access to the ongoing discussion surrounding the idea. You can add comments, ask questions, and attach supporting documents, photos, and hyperlinks to the idea. If you click on "add new", you can add a new idea of your own.

Ideas evolve and morph as colleagues collaborate and work together. You can also access the platform through the mobile app. If you see something that triggers an idea, snap a picture and upload a new idea on the fly. If you are interested in a particular idea, follow it and you'll be prompted via email as the idea develops.

During 2020 and 2021, we've designed and run over 50 ideation campaigns, over a dozen strategic planning sessions, and countless improvement projects using this platform as a collaborative tool. A recent ideation session with the purchasing team of a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer yielded $300 million in cost-saving projects. In a recent virtual work session with a medical devices manufacturer, the team identified and honed over 30 new practices that improved their technology transfer process. The sales and merchandising team of a leading distributor identified over 60 improvement opportunities and new product ideas out on the field.

We can help you build the ideation, collaboration, and innovation capabilities you need. We'll show you how we've helped dozens of other companies engage and empower employees to drive continuous improvement and innovation.

Don't play it by ear. Innovation is not a one-size-fits-all recipe. We'll help you assess your innovation maturity level and configure a solution that fits your needs.

In 1987, Ronald Reagan stirred the world with his "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." speech in West Berlin. If you need to tear down the walls that are impeding collaboration and stifling innovation in your organization, give us a call and we'll gladly arrange for a free consultation.



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