At Nuance, Innovation is one of our strategic priorities. We use Jive as our central hub for organic innovation, called our Innovation Ecosystem. A brief history...
Over two years ago, we created a grass-roots forum called "Innovation For All" for our employees to submit new product ideas/product enhancements regardless of division, geography, role, level or function. Within the Innovation For All space, we use Jive's ideation feature to create new ideas, allow users to vote on the ideas and help the idea author iterate on/refine the ideas. We have a dedicated committee that reviews the top 10 ideas by vote every quarter and provides feedback to the idea author and then suggests resources to take their idea to the next stage.
- 200 ideas created
- 125 unique idea authors
- 25 ideas endorsed by the committee
- 5 ideas prototyped
A year ago, we then enhanced our Innovation Ecosystem by adding our "Innovation Challenge" program. We host location-based hack-a-thon events, but they're not just for hackers. We take ideas from Innovation For All or new ideas that range from solving a known customer issue, to automating an internal process, to creating the next big thing. Ideas simply need to add value to our business to be considered. Then teams are formed with the goal to create a working prototype for review by a panel of judges. We have resources in place to connect technical teams with idea champions. Hacking starts on Friday and winners are announced at the end of the event on Monday afternoon.
The third leg of the internal Innovation Ecosystem is the Shark Tank. The goal of this program is to provide a clear path from conceptualization through to productization. Division-specific prototypes are submitted and reviewed by the divisional executive team. The Sharks review submissions on a monthly basis and vote across a set of predetermined criteria and that help guide the decision making process for admission into The Shark Tank program. The Shark Tank is an incubator that allows the idea author/prototype team to work directly with divisional product managers who control the future product roadmap.
Just in the new year 2015, one of our division wanted to further expand and customize the Innovation Ecosystem to fit their unique business needs. They break down their divisional Innovation Ecosystem into 4 parts:
- Significantly expand the pace of organic innovation by tapping into ideas from our large employee base, thus creating new revenue opportunities
- Expand cross-divisional and shared innovation, providing divisional product management and marketing with opportunities to accelerate time to revenue for new innovations.
- Create an exciting and energized employee culture around sharing and building out ideas and concepts, with rewards accruing to the employee and the business
- Accelerate expansion of company IP portfolio