Kindling is an idea management and innovation collaboration platform for organizations. Kindling enables organizations to crowdsource their employees’ best ideas and solutions to problems. Through the platform, employers post a problem or question directed at the organization or at a particular division (this is called a Campaign). The platform then enables employees to post their ideas, contribute/comment on other people’s ideas and vote on ideas they like. Kindling is designed to engage the members of the organization in idea generation and increased collaboration.
THE CHALLENGES OF CROWDSOURCING
Utilizing Kindling to crowdsource ideas from your organization seems easy at first. However, crowdsourcing does not come without challenges. In order to successfully crowdsource ideas from your organization on an ongoing basis, you need to get the following right:
Gaining Engagement: The crowdsourcing initiative needs to get support from the organization at all levels. It is people that make crowdsourcing work. Get support early from leaders in the organization and from employees whose ideas will be queried.
Managing the Crowds: Once employees are posting ideas in the platform, content needs to be monitored for relevance and appropriateness. Idea contributors also need to be informed of if/how their ideas are being leveraged by the organization.
Vetting Ideas: Ideas need to be vetted for feasibility before being evaluated.
Leveraging Ideas: All ideas need to be considered, vetted, and evaluated to determine what the best ideas are. Employees contribute their ideas with the goal of helping improve the organization. The easiest way to discourage employees from participating is to do nothing with their ideas. The best ideas need to get a chance at implementation in order to keep the organization engaged.
Recognizing Contributors: Employees who formulate great ideas that change the organization need to be recognized and, when possible, awarded prizes.
HOW TO MAKE KINDLING WORK
A SAAS platform cannot achieve crowdsourcing goals without an innovation program to work through the crowdsourcing challenges and manage employee ideas. Kindling advises organizations to structure the innovation program with these key roles:
-Program Management Team: To identify stakeholders, configure software, define processes, assign moderators, and market internally.
-Executive Sponsor: To champion the program, clear obstacles, motivate contributors, and recognize great contributions.
-Moderator: To manage the day-to-day activity of the innovation program; to provide constant feedback to contributors while directing Ideas through the different stages of evaluation; to provide your community with transparency about the process and decisions made with regard to the Ideas being reviewed.
-Expert: To evaluate specific Ideas in their area of expertise when called on by moderators.
-Contributors: To participate in the program, respond to Campaigns and address Categories, contribute Ideas, participate in discussions, vote on Ideas, and volunteer to execute approved Ideas.
HOW TO CREATE VALUE FROM KINDLING
For organizations that want to extract the best and most innovative ideas from employees, Kindling offers the platform to do it. The platform allows easy access to the most popular ideas (the ones with the most user votes), and enables people to build on each other’s ideas, and allows moderators to request more information from contributors.
Kindling, however, does not guarantee success without the organization’s commitment to innovation through crowdsourcing. This means that in addition to the cost of the platform, an organization must be willing to spend the resources necessary to set up an innovation program. The innovation program may then achieve crowdsourcing success: extracting innovative ideas and solutions from the organization, vetting ideas, evaluating ideas, selecting the best ideas, recognizing the best ideas, and allowing the best ideas to create change and innovate.