While walking in the rain last night, my thoughts on this topic were:
- Limit the number of votes each person can make in a given container. Make this a setting for the group owner or space admin, because controlling it will depend on the type of idea generation that is happening.
- Allow people to select the number of points their vote counts for, within a set range. This way, people can indicate the strength of their desire for or vehemence against an idea.
- in the above scenario, if the person selected the top number of pro or con points, prompt them for a reason/comment. Since that high point count indicates strong emotion, they might have a good contribution to make in terms of why. It wouldn't need to be required, but sometimes just the prompt will give that little push necessary to make it happen.
Tracy, I've not noticed the exact problem you mention here. But a large majority of our ideas submitted to this point have been about opportunities to save money across the company. And (at 5 points per vote) we have examples that range from 445 (translates to 89 in 1 pt votes) down to -145 (-29 in 1 pt votes). We have 8 ideas with more than 50 votes (the highest right now is 93 votes). We are right around 100 submitted ideas after two months...and we haven't been overly aggressive in our advertising of it yet internally. We will be doing more here soon.
I'd say what has helped are specific challenges put in place looking ideas to help generate specific outcomes. We weren't getting as much activity when it was just wide open "what are your ideas?" But once the challenges, particularly the saving money challenge, came up it kind of took off. I wish more people that vote stuff down would also comment and explain why. That has been the biggest behavioral issue I have noticed. But I definitely see people supporting ideas they "like" vs. "love".
A hidden value...a few ideas that got quite a lot of votes we were able to close because they got the attention of a business owner who comment on them that work was already sanctioned to take care of those specific ideas. But that educated a lot of interested folks about work they didn't already know about that a lot of other people would be valuable.
The top voted ideas we have at this point that haven't turned into action yet...we are now working to get evaluated by process owners for potential projects and make that a regularly running process as ideas hit certain time / point thresholds.
Also note, the saving money challenge was not a top-down driven challenge. It was created by an associate that wanted to help the company...he started it on his own in a new group...and it has just taken off and is now on the radar of execs in the company as a bigger opportunity to leverage.
But I still want to see major growth in our idea participation numbers (as do others). But for being early and with little advertising beyond relying on organic use so far....I am pleased.