Idea management design at Openknowledge


30 giugno 2014


Lately many large organizations, businesses and institutions are implementing digitally-enabled systems for idea management. The scope of these idea innovation projects is to make better use of employees’ expertise, skills, experiences, creativity and thus to gather, select and mature as many innovative ideas as possible. In times of chaotic markets, disruptive technologies, new organizational models, it’s relevant for businesses to remain at the frontier, fostering strategies and practices for a constant innovation, becoming an “idea-driven organization”. At OpenKnowledge we currently deal with different client projects of innovation management both inside the organization and outside. Involved as consulting and facilitating agent in many different industries, we are helping our clients envisioning and implementing idea management platforms and processes. In fact, in our esperience the idea management strategy is not just limited to the technological process of identifying, selecting and implementing a idea management software solution (an exclusive technological perspective often causes unsuccessful innovation experiences). Instead it’s a systemic and continuous ri-orientation of the entire organizational culture and business to be “idea-driven”: that means the necessity to assess and analyze the cognitive and cultural mindsets of managers as well as of employees in particular their strategic thinking, motivations and decision-making processes. Because of that, as we experience, implementing an idea system to unlock the power of bottom-up ideas is not an easy task. The OpenKnowledge experience is recently confirmed by a study of conducted by DRUID (Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics. Based on a qualitative, multiple case study of five large  organizations, the researchers “examined managers’ antecedent strategic thinking when setting up an internal idea management system. Our conceptual model identifies a set of aspects and mechanisms deemed as most crucial during the set-up process. We find that the set-up process is more complex – and perhaps more important – than indicated by previous literature. More specifically, we suggest that: (1) managers’ existing mental models influence the aspects of the set-up process that they consider as most crucial, thus biasing the way they construct their idea management system; (2) the drivers behind the adoption of an idea management system affect how managers envision the set-up process. We observed that such drivers led to the development of two different trajectories in terms of system configuration and performance arrived at; and (3) the stages of the set-up process are iterative and constantly updated with different learning loops and information flows occurring among them”. According to the authors: “Our study extends and advances the innovation management literature in two ways. First, this study highlights the importance of considering managers’ cognitive processes when setting up an idea management system. Works that include a cognitive perspective in innovation studies have been limited. As such, we show that a cognitive perspective can provide additional insights to how and why managers design, develop, and implement idea management systems. Hence, we extend the innovation literature by incorporating a cognitive perspective into the set-up process. Including such perspective is important as it enables to highlight how managers construct and use their cognitive structures, in terms of mentally represented concepts and relationships, in the set-up process. Second, we found the set-up process to be iterative rather than sequential with different information flows, overlaps and learning loops occurring across the different stages. This complexity in the set-up process has not been captured by current literature. This suggests the importance of considering the set-up process as unfolding in both the world of cognition and action” (from: Michela Beretta, Viktorija Kulikovskaja, Lars Frederiksen, “The Process of Design, Development and Implementation of Idea Management  Systems”, June 2014).


Here the link to the research:

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