Best Practice: Digital Idea Management

Good ideas should be rewarded. But what can companies do to ensure that these good ideas don’t gather dust on a shelf but are implemented? The answer is: Create idea management that is digital, transparent, and user-friendly.

Most organizations have already implemented a process that collects and evaluates suggestions and improvement ideas from employees and awards prizes to chosen submissions. When exchanging the classical company suggestion scheme for a digital and smart idea management system, the first step will be to achieve greater user-friendliness and simplified submission. Although this might sound quite simple, the effects of these two aspects are enormous.

In our experience, the high usability of idea platforms positively influences the quality and quantity of submissions and the motivation of employees to participate in the idea process. However, an easy-to-use platform is not only advantageous for employees who want to submit proposals. The reviewer also experiences a simplified evaluation of proposals. Ideas can be assigned thematically to the appropriate reviewers, so evaluation and decision-making can be made more quickly. The increased speed in the ideas process and the possibility for the submitter to understand where an idea is in the process have positive effects on the motivation to participate and the perception of idea management within the company.

Apart from idea campaigns on specific topics, the platform generally offers the opportunity for interaction and open discussion of individual ideas. All employees can contribute to the submitted suggestions and further develop them. The entire organization is involved in idea management. In addition, the assigned likes for an idea can serve as a first pre-selection for the reviewers.

Munich Airport: Collaboration with the Digital Idea Management

Shortly after the launch of the new idea platform Innovation Pilot, Munich Airport recorded a significant increase in the number of ideas submitted – in the first two months alone, 300% more ideas were handed in than in the same period last year. Munich Airport’s goal is to replace its existing internal pool of ideas and use it to modernize its idea management and make it more effective.

“We want to establish the idea management of the future that will enable us to stimulate innovation rather than simply manage proposals. The innosabi software offers the ideal infrastructure for this”.
Sarah Wittlieb, (former) Head of Innovation Management, Munich Airport

The innosabi software enables Munich Airport to permanently open topic clusters. Employees can submit their ideas in a targeted manner and then forward them directly to the right contact persons in the company. But temporary idea campaigns are also a proven method of complementing traditional idea management and promoting a culture of innovation.

Apart from modernizing the processes of the classic company suggestion scheme, the platform also offers the opportunity to carry out open innovation projects. These are characterized by collaboration. An open discussion of ideas within the employee community promotes transparency in all aspects of idea management and increases internal interest in new ideas. In addition, collaboration leads to a higher quality of ideas. In 2018 alone, more than 40 of the ideas submitted were implemented at Munich Airport.

But digital and smart idea management was just the beginning. With the LabCampus, Munich Airport is planning one of the most promising and largest innovation centers in Europe – a place for innovation and bringing people together.

“By bringing together a diverse group of thought leaders, philosophers, innovators, smart city planners, technology wizards – and actual part-year residents – we at LabCampus plan to build a true innovation ecosystem at Munich Airport.”
Sarah Wittlieb, Vice President Innovation & Creation at LabCampus GmbH