Forrester Research, Inc., just released its first Wave report on Innovation Management Tools. Congratulations to Telligent partner, WeListen, for solidifying a position as a Leader. WeListen was recognized in the emerging innovation management space for its InnovationCast software, which is built on the Telligent platform.

Why the upswing in attention to innovation management? Because innovation management is helping organizations switch from the ‘drop your idea in the suggestion box’ model to a more efficient method of crowdsourcing and implementing ideas.

Forrester chalks up the benefits of innovation in the enterprise to a few critical areas:

  • Faster time-to-value for promising ideas
  • Access to external experts
  • Serving as a collection point for customer-driven improvements
  • Positive employee engagement

The catch? “Only 45% of respondents in a recent survey of IT and business decision-makers reported that they have groups dedicated to innovation, and only 34% of respondents had centralized organizations and processes for innovation.”

Companies like Siemens, Sanofi and Hospital Corporation of America are actively supporting innovation processes to improve their businesses. An example from HealthStream illustrates some key tips for other organizations wanting to crowdsource innovation with their customers and employees.

  • Make it easy to submit ideas: HealthStream gets hundreds of ideas, many of which have been implemented, and aggregates them within their customer support community.
  • Set up challenges: Don’t just wait for ideas to come rolling in. Ask your customers about ways to enhance your products and give them a central place to discuss their ideas.
  • Acknowledge implemented ideas: Evaluate the business opportunity of new ideas and implement when feasible. Follow up with your customers and employees so they know what you’ve done with their ideas. This encourages active participation and shows your customers that you’re not just giving them lip service, but that you value their feedback and time.

The Forrester Wave™: Innovation Management Tools, Q3 2013, Forrester Research, Inc., July 11 2013.