How do industry leaders like Google, LinkedIn and Adobe continue to fuel their major success? They do not leave innovation up to chance, using creativity contests in the form of idea competitions to facilitate innovation within their organisations.

Yu Zhi Wei
24 Nov 2020

Good idea competitions will grow your organisation in different aspects, not only will you solve your pressing problems, but you also encourage collaboration across silos, and foster that highly sought-after innovative culture.

What Are Idea Competitions?

An idea competition is a challenge where participants will provide ideas and solutions using their skills, knowledge, and creativity.

Internal competitions are where your stakeholders contribute their ideas in response to a specific goal, with the purpose to solve an outlined problem, implementing the most promising solution within.

As simple as the concept sounds, there are key principles to consider If you want your idea competitions to yield good returns. We have condensed them into four key elements to ensure your innovative success:

1. Centre your idea competition around a specific goal

An overly broad statement like “What might be the most innovative thing we can implement” will not be helpful to your end goal. Make sure your challenge title and problem statements are focused on a specific problem to be solved.

Setting out a specific goal to be broadcasted to your stakeholders will allow participants to understand the requirements and visualize their solutions, working towards solving these specific problems.

2. Make challenge deliverables separate and manageable

Make innovation and contribution of your ideas to be as easy as possible! Especially for organisations new to implementing innovation infrastructure, the last thing you want to do is to overwhelm your stakeholders into inactivity.

For example, you can ask for a single page summary that could be pitched easily rather than a 100-page document detailing the entire idea. This will encourage stakeholders to practice and learn how to innovate iteratively, lending agility to your organisation.

3. Dedicate sufficient company resources

Commit resources to your idea competitions before launching them so you can ensure that the winning ideas captured can be more than just ideas, they are to be implemented to be translated into actual value.

Going one step further, you can also introduce guidance in the form of workshops, classes, and possibly, mentoring. This would better guide participants through the formulation of their idea, resulting in collection of higher potential & higher value ideas.

4. Understand the positive externalities beyond the winning ideas

Most idea competitions you run will not lead to substantial results instantly. Largely due to execution and implementation time that goes beyond the end of the competition. However, a good idea competition will teach your stakeholders new skills, connecting them across departmental silos, and foster that creative and innovative culture within your organisation.

The more competitions you run, the more data you will have on improving each successive run. With that information, you can gain higher stakeholder engagement, improved collaboration, and communication, as well as a strong reputation for openness and creativity.

Ready to launch your own idea competition? Concordiar’s Idea Factory has been designed specifically to ensure that all your innovation challenges are goal-specific and dedicated to your innovation success. Schedule a demo with our team and we will help you get started quickly.