Idea and Concept Development

/Idea and Concept Development
Idea and Concept Development 2016-12-14T20:59:38+00:00

High Value Strategic Idea and Concept Development

Most companies have lots of ideas, but not necessarily the right ones according to research:

  • 74% of innovation ideas do not support business strategies1, and
  • 79% of companies have too few high value ideas.2
More specifically, in the area of idea and concept development you should look for these five common problems that inhibit the generation of high-value innovation ideas in support of the business strategy:

  1. Functional and geographical silos make it hard to work outside of these boundaries, but experience shows that some of the best ideas occur when people can collaborate across these boundaries.
  2. The front end of innovation is disorganized and chaotic because companies don’t have consistent processes that facilitate their idea generation efforts. In many cases processes still reflect the old idea ‘suggestion box’ approach.
  3. There is no way to link and connect related ideas to create synergistic, better-quality ideas. You need more than the default ad-hoc ’water cooler‘ exchanges and discussions.
  4. Ideas are collected that have little to no relationship to the real strategic needs of the company. You need to connect innovation idea generation programs to strategic business objectives and planning gaps.
  5. Many companies report great success in generating volumes of ideas but once they collect them they have nowhere to go….so they die, no action is taken and, what’s worse, when employees realize this, they stop contributing.
Innovation idea generation presents the challenge of creating bigger and better ideas and concepts – not just more ideas and concepts. Innovation idea generation should focus on adding high-value new ideas at the front of the innovation funnel, and then on developing those ideas into concepts and higher-value products that move through the pipeline and out into the market.

Successful idea and concept development requires integration with the entire innovation and new product development (NPD) lifecycle, not some stand-alone innovation idea generation process.

Innovation funnel

Driving bigger and better ideas and concepts through the innovation funnel.
An effective idea and concept development process to produce high-value ideas should include the following capabilities for success:
  • A strong emphasis on collaboration via communities. Good ideas emerge from discussions amongst peers, teams, and other communities-of-interest.
  • Consistent and flexible workflows that focus on building and improving ideas. New ideas must be enhanced and ‘grown’ to develop quality and potential value.
  • The means to automatically connect similar ideas to enable discovery, synergy and further development. Two ideas on their own may be of low value, but when combined they may have great value.

Use the following resources to learn more about idea and concept development:

1 CGT/Sopheon Survey
2 Product Development Institute