The ideas we seek when we want to raise the game at work hardly ever appear exactly when we want them — but online whiteboard vendor Miro says ideation can be ‘trained’ and managed in ways that improve our chances.
This is about finding methods of structuring how teams and organisations generate ideas, which often means removing the process from the usual workflows, according to the company’s blog.
Miro’s team believes that people often have good ideas when they’re doing unrelated activities that are relatively distraction-free — like having a shower.
“The shower is one of the most distraction-free places people find themselves all day. When you remove your mind from its normal environment, it’s free to wander to interesting places,” the company said.
A successful idea or innovation management workshop should take advantage of the same principle to create space for ideation and its development — effectively crowdsourcing creativity.
During the daily grind, routine tasks and the need to constantly adapt to changing business requirements can conspire to stifle innovation. Many ideas that do rise to the surface can end up forgotten or simply never communicated in the first place.
“You can change that by creating a space where ideas can happen. You’re building a pipeline that can collect ideas on its own, reaching every member of your team,” according to Miro, which suggests that organisations can manage ideation better by developing separate creative flows that foster brainstorming.
How to develop a system
An idea management system, developed for specific organisational needs, can systematise the process of recognising great concepts whenever they appear — and employee engagement can also be rewarded.
If ideas can be collated somewhere they can all be easily displayed, it’s less likely that the team will pass them by, according to Miro.
“Innovation management also helps you find and retrieve ideas when it’s time to act on them,” it maintained.
Of course, Miro believes its online whiteboard platform solutions are a great addition to any idea management system, especially one where some or all staff work remotely.
“Our collaborative whiteboard can make idea management easier through a friendly visual interface,” said Miro. “Idea management tools might be able to help you.”
The company said that what’s typically needed is to build a central location where “employees, leaders and customers” can submit ideas, perhaps even anonymously. It should be easy to use and readily available at all times, with submissions organised via concepts like mind mapping.
A timeframe for comment on a given idea as well as changes, approval and implementation processes can also be useful. Different boards or channels can be used for submitting different types of idea.
“A Kanban board allows you to create categories that correspond to the steps on your product development path to help you visualise the development process,” added Miro.