Creative Problem-Solving Through Ideawake
Written By: Dan Steininger, President and Co-Founder of BizStarts
As seen on the July 5, 2016 post in Milwaukee Business Journal OnRamp Blog.
The most difficult challenge facing most companies today is the critical necessity to stay abreast of the latest technological innovations that can disrupt the market need for their product or service. In order to overcome this challenge, companies are turning to their employees, customers and other stakeholders to come up with a wider breadth of novel solutions to complex business problems.
In those instances the latest technological challenge has to be stated as a problem that needs to be solved.
Then the next important step in the creativity process requires ideation which is primarily brainstorming multiple solutions before the correct course of action is taken.
A recent Harvard Business School study found that the more ideas that are generated the better the quality of the final solutions. On average 200 potential ideas translates into better quality in the final selection process.
Enter Coby Skonord, founder and CEO of Ideawake which helps generate significantly more ideas than management is capable of coming up with on their own.
Colby came to BizStarts seeking advice help and capital to grow his new company.
His technology/application enables employers to reach out to customers, employees and other stakeholders to seek their ideas to solve challenges critical to achieving strategic objectives and goals related to organizational growth. Once ideas are posted, Ideawake leverages the knowledge of participants to autonomously surface the top 5% of ideas that will drive 95% of results. Once the best ideas are identified, return-on-investment forecasts are generated and the most promising ideas can be assigned to cross-functional work teams for idea implementation.
By making it easy to harness the wisdom of more minds to overcome organizational hurdles, Ideawake helps employers gain access to a vital resource for decision making and strategic planning.
That information can then be fed to the employer and can be used as a vital source of input for decision-making and strategic planning.
To incentivize participation, Ideawake uses a gamification system that gives participants points for participation, which are displayed on a public leaderboard and can be used to track performance. At the end of each quarter, management can offer prizes of their choosing to the top performing participants.
The software can then aggregate the input and analyze those ideas that float to the top most often
Although there are competing products in the marketplace, Ideawake differentiates itself by focusing on the full idea-to-launch life-cycle. Competing products help companies identify great ideas, but don’t provide the tools to further flesh out ideas beyond simple concepts to the point where they can start producing measurable results. This causes ideas with a lot of potential that can never be fully realized, thus significantly limiting the effectiveness of a company’s innovation program.
By providing the tools companies need to further develop ideas into proofs of concept, Ideawake helps companies maximize the return on investment they can achieve from leveraging knowledge from inside and outside of organizational boundaries.
About the Author
Dan Steininger is the president and co-founder of BizStarts. BizStarts facilitates the creation of new companies in southeast Wisconsin. He currently teaches courses on innovation for the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for business leaders. Contact BizStarts >>
OnRamp offers conversation and connections among the entrepreneurs who are shaping Wisconsin’s economy, and brings corporations and start-ups together at statewide events. View other OnRamp blog posts >>