10 suggestions for operating a world-class innovation contest

On the subject of sourcing concepts from throughout the group, there’s quite a few well-proven strategies starting from particular event-based ideation periods and broader innovation contests, challenges and pitch days, to ongoing enterprise innovation processes, incubators and labs the place concepts could be submitted and evaluated at any time.

The most effective strategy is commonly a mixture of those strategies so you have got each ongoing and event-based mechanisms to supply concepts for the innovation pipeline. Prior to now, I’ve written incessantly about event-based ideation periods, or innovation workshops, which could be utilized to supply concepts from a extremely focused group of subject material specialists.

On this article, we’ll take a look at a broader mechanism to run an annual innovation contest throughout your group and share greatest practices to make it a world-class occasion:

As a chief data officer or chief innovation officer, your contest already has C-Suite sponsorship by means of your involvement. Even higher is to contain your president and CEO. Their seen enthusiasm and help for the competition and their encouragement for contributors is without doubt one of the greatest contributors to success.

Align the competition to your core values

Together with CEO sponsorship, one other approach so as to add gravitas to your contest is to align along with your core values. This helps make clear the aim of the competition and illustrate the way it contributes to these values. For instance, “ardour for folks” aligns with and fosters a tradition of innovation and collaboration. A core worth of “be the change you search” aligns to the tempo of innovation and workers appearing as catalysts for innovation throughout their divisions. A core worth of “decide to greatness” aligns to the affect of innovation and on the lookout for game-changing alternatives for development and effectivity.

Talk the method and timeline

Choose a confirmed methodology (third-party or develop your individual) after which talk the method and timeline forward of and all through the competition. This will embody posts in your company intranet, posters in native places of work, and contest launch webinars open to all so you’ll be able to handle questions and share key focus areas, examples of the sorts of concepts of curiosity, contest timeline, guidelines and prizes.

Make advertising a strategic companion

With the above communications exercise, advertising needs to be your strategic companion all through to develop world-class supplies to help the competition. They’ll even have a pulse on appropriate contest themes drawing from company or popular culture and might coordinate logistics for pitch day displays.

Contain your innovation evangelists as first-round judges

To get to a Prime 10 listing of finalists for pitch day, draw in your innovation evangelists throughout your divisions to carry out a primary spherical of voting. This has the twin advantage of offering you with trusted and educated assets, in addition to additional constructing their involvement and relationship with the innovation program.

Coach your finalists forward of pitch day

When you’re decided the Prime 10 listing of finalists for pitch day, make sure you coach them forward of the primary occasion. Whether or not pitch day is in-person, digital or hybrid, they’ll have to know the format for his or her displays, the exact timing by way of their pitch and questions from the judges, and their transition time to be introduced into the session. Make sure you embody biographies of whom they’ll current to in addition to the judging standards for his or her concepts.

Contain your senior management workforce for pitch day

Since concepts could come from all components of the enterprise, a robust strategy is to incorporate your senior management workforce, comprised of heads of divisions and heads of inside departments like gross sales, advertising, HR, and finance. This has the additional advantage of serving to join these leaders with rising stars from throughout the group.

Run a folks’s alternative award to contain the entire group

A Folks’s Alternative Award permits workers to vote for their very own favorites from among the many contest finalists, and helps to make all concepts seen to all the firm. For instance, video recordings of every finalist’s pitch could be shared on the corporate intranet as a part of the Folks’s Alternative Awards to allow them to be seen previous to voting. This additional socializes concepts throughout the group and includes everybody within the contest.

Have fun all contributors

It’s essential to have fun not simply the general winner of the competition, however the Prime 10, the Honorable Mentions, in addition to winners in different classes similar to a class for “current improvements,” which have already been applied. Make sure you thank all concerned together with the senior management workforce, the first-round judges, the advertising workforce, and all contestants.

Discover find out how to implement all concepts

Simply as government sponsorship is without doubt one of the greatest contributors to success early on, its counterpart on the finish of the competition and thereafter is to discover find out how to implement all concepts. Execution is vital and it’s essential to observe via and discover with every contestant find out how to progress their concepts the place it is smart. Some is probably not possible, nevertheless it’s essential to discover.

In fact, there are various methods to prepare and execute any innovation contest, so the strategy above is only one instance. An important facet to make your contest a world-class occasion is involvement and making it a workforce sport that belongs to all the group so it turns into an intrinsic a part of your tradition and core values – even a shining instance everybody factors to.

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