New ideas are inherently both exciting and scary. Holding onto the excitement however, is a lot harder than embracing the fear. It's fear that often prevents an innovative idea from moving forward. But there are ways to try and calm the fears and keep the momentum going.
One of the best ways to ensure momentum after an ideation session is to get the right people involved earlier on in the innovation process—and keep their involvement going (and interest piqued) throughout the process.
Oftentimes due to time constraints or budgets, marketing and market researchers work either on their own or with an innovation company to come up with new ideas. Those ideas are then developed and presented to the team that needs to execute them. If the ideas have any hurdles whatsoever, they wind up dead or diluted because the people who are meant to execute them do not have the same level of commitment to the ideas as the original ideation team.
So, even though it could take a little time and energy, why should you try and get the broader team involved from the get-go? Here are just a few of the benefits:
The ideas are better because you get multiple perspectives to help create and develop the ideas. Multiple perspectives includes marketing, consumer insights, R&D, sales, regulatory, even manufacturing.
They feel part of the ownership and believe in the ideas because they were included not only in the ideation phase, but also in the strategic discussions around which ideas to bring forward.
They hear the insights and ideas first-hand so concepts become more believable than when heard second-hand – particularly when consumers are involved in the articulation of needs, wants and ideas.
You spend less time bringing people up to speed and handling objections because they were involved in the problem solving.
You now have multiple champions for the ideas within the organization, which takes the burden off the person who normally feels like he or she is pushing their ideas up hill.
Having a team of champions in your corner upfront can give your ideas a fighting chance as they go through your innovation pipeline. It also helps solve any issues or hurdles closer to the front end of the development cycle—paving the way for smooth sailing to success in the marketplace.
Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Facilitator at Ideas To Go. She co-authored the book, "Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation™ Approach Drives Your Company Forward." Beth has been a guest on many innovation podcasts and her work has been featured in media outlets such as HuffPost and Fortune. Beth holds a BS in Business Management from Cornell University and a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and has worked in brand management at some of the premier consumer packaged goods companies—including Unilever, Kraft and Nabisco. Since joining Ideas To Go, Beth has established herself as a leader in the Innovation landscape and designed and facilitated projects for hundreds of companies—from CPG to financial services to pharmaceuticals.