By Elena Donets

    Innovation in NineThe Hard Work of Innovation: 9 tools to help you to manage

    Is your Organization innovative?

    All (or most) organizations want to be considered innovative, but few actually innovate in an organized, reliable or effective way. There are many methods and models for innovation: Closed, Open, On the edge. Some try to spark innovation through ad hoc efforts like hackathons or task forces; others set up accelerators and incubators to work with startups, while some, like P&G, build large-scale innovation factories. Whatever the model, the basic blocs are the same – Ideas, People and Process.

    Innovation managers are tasked with bringing some order to the chaos of changing worlds. In this article you will find platforms and software that will help you do just that. From sourcing and managing ideas through the Open Innovation model, to Ideation platforms and community management, we are proposing a way of maintaining innovation for the long term.

    Open Innovation

    Open Innovation applies the principles of free trade to innovation, advancing new ideas through the use of tools such as partnerships, joint ventures, licensing and strategic alliances. By collaborating with outsiders—including customers, vendors and even competitors—Open Innovation enables the laws of comparative advantage to drive the efficient allocation of R&D resources. By reaching beyond corporate borders, a company can import lower-cost, higher-quality ideas from a wide array of world-class experts to improve the speed, quality and cost of innovation. This approach allows the business to redirect its own innovation resources to where it has clear competitive advantages. Ideas are also exported to businesses that can put them to better use.


    Chaordix specializes in community innovation and crowd activation. Chaordix uses crowdsourcing to help organizations gain sustained community engagement and predictive intelligence with their very own technology, Crowd Intelligence™. The process can be applied to deliver ideas, intelligence and solutions from the collective wisdom of participants of team insights programs, B2B forums, and product innovation communities.

    100% Open

    100% Open is an open innovation platform servicing top-notch corporations. Clueless how to start? Their 100% Open Tool Kit provides a list of what you need for your company, and suggests what you should use. For example, are you setting an innovation strategy? Then you’ll be provided with the necessary tools you need to facilitate the process.

    OpenIDEO: A Platform to Harness Collaboration for Social Good

    OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform where people from all corners of the world collaboratively tackle some of the toughest global issues through launching Challenges, programs, and other tailored experiences.

    A Challenge is a three-to-five month collaborative process that focuses attention on the topic and creates a space for community members to contribute and build off each other. This approach is modeled on IDEO’s design thinking methodology.

    Idea Management

    Increasingly, companies will compete based on the speed at which they can discover, develop and implement ideas for new products and services. To compete at this level, organizations must efficiently tap into the creativity of all of their employees. Not only that, but they must also be adept at channeling employees’ creative energies to key business issues — gathering and evaluating ideas efficiently, and quickly identifying those with the greatest bottom-line potential for implementation.

    Idea management technology is a type of enterprise software that can help to make such an innovation strategy possible. These new Web-based applications enable companies to solicit targeted ideas from all employees — regardless of their geographic location — and funnel them to a centralized online database. Idea management systems also provide structured processes for evaluating and sharing ideas, so managers can quickly zero in on those with the greatest potential.


    This innovation management software is a SaaS (software-as-a-service), accessible via a Web browser, for tracking innovation programs within organizations. It’s a good arsenal for innovation program leaders who have advanced knowledge in harnessing open innovation within an organization, where a record of all the activities, from hackathons to crowdsourcing to design competitions, is managed. The platform provides a complete suite from idea collection to the execution of the entire program to global customers.


    Spigit participants are already familiar with your business, so you can gain more valuable ideas for product development and innovation from them. Who are the participants? The community itself, which includes the employees, partners and customers. With extra (and by all means, hundreds and thousands of) brains and eyes to think and see beyond the company’s perspective, you can identify and drill for new ideas.


    Communities serve many roles. In innovation, they are one of the major elements that ensure sustainable, repeatable and scalable innovation. Community provides the organization with the option to work outside the structured hierarchy, and identify the people who are most interested and committed to carrying out innovation projects. Through the community, innovation leaders can gain and provide procedural, resource, social and knowledge support as well as amplify their achievements. They may come in different sizes and levels of inclusivity, but they all serve the purpose of advancing innovation in and out of the organization.

    Some platforms on which innovation communities can be managed:

    1. Mobilize

    Mobilize is a community management platform, a space in which your members would love to stay connected, participate in discussions, and attend events.

    2. EXO Platform

    eXo Platform offers a large set of collaborative tools uniquely integrated around a social layer. It has a user-centric design that generates spontaneous engagement. In addition, eXo Platform is open source software and favors open standards for better integration with existing IT systems such as a user directory, single sign-on systems or business-specific applications. It’s also an applicative platform coming with APIs and high customizability that can be leveraged by developers for socially-enabling your business.

    What makes eXo Platform a prime tool for collaboration is its design as a social application. It is built as a social platform and is integrated with social tools that make work and work-related processes, such as document management, community building, etc, fast and easy.

    3. Vanilla

    Vanilla is cloud-based community forum software for building customer loyalty, growing

    sales and improving customer service. Vanilla is powerful platform to serve as a portal for customers to help each other and deflect tickets, where customers ask questions and accept each others’ answers.

    Using a combination of these tools to manage the different stages of the innovation process – from ideation to implementation – can assist you as an innovation leader to ensure prolific, sustainable innovation in your organization.