Imagine you are part of a large organization. You know that creativity and new ideas are your engine for growth. You’ve decided on the need for a more streamlined way to capture the ideas coming from thousands of employees working at every level of your organization across numerous geographical locations. But it’s not only you. Your Business Development team needs to manage their Idea Portfolio and see which ones have the best potential to move forward. On top of all that, you need to be able to show business outcomes like cost savings and revenue to prove the value of the program. Many executives realize that managing ideas can’t be done with cobbled together, homegrown solutions.
Access, maintain, follow-through and forward the idea, or not. It’s a big idea whose time has come.
If you’re not leveraging an dedicated idea crowdsourcing tool, you’ve left a gaping hole in your innovation strategy. Idea Pipeline, the Innovation Platform, lets you drive and coordinate ideas across the enterprise.
Founded in 1912, AF Group is one of the nation’s leading workers’ compensation insurance organizations, managing risk and minimizing loss for their policyholders, and creating a safer environment for workers. Jeffrey White and Craig Bilinski co-manage the Innovation Works department at AF Group for new product and services development and to funnel ideas across all 50 states. Previously, Jeff and Craig had run their own IT businesses and joined AF as innovative thinkers. The challenge was how to make the new department work. “I knew we needed to get on some type of cloud-based idea software, but after looking at a number of different versions both inside and outside the US, the costs seemed just too high,” noted Jeff. That’s when they found the Idea Pipeline, an industry disrupter with the right product at the right price.
Idea Pipeline, the Innovation Platform, had its launch at AF Group in May 2015 with over 700 users initially enrolled. A few months later, it was company-wide with over 1,200 users generating thousands of ideas. Several dozen ideas have made it to the final approval stage. One is an Accident Fund Mobile App, called AF CompAdvisor, that is distributed to injured workers. The app actually helps injured workers find the right doctors in their vicinity. Specifically, doctors that understand workplace injuries and get employees back to work sooner – improving the care for injured workers and reducing the overall cost to the company.
LindenGrove Communities is a nonprofit, elder-care organization. They provide award-winning healthcare and support services for approximately 2,000 patients and residents per year at their four campuses in southern Wisconsin. LindenGrove Communities is one of the largest employers in the region with approximately 1,000 employees, many of whom have decades of service to LindenGrove and the people they serve. LindenGrove offers a wide-range of services including assisted living apartments, rehabilitation centers, and memory-care homes. LindenGrove Communities is proud to have a consistent history of being ranked by state and federal regulators among the highest skilled nursing facilities in Wisconsin.
Linda Joel is the CEO of LindenGrove. She was looking for innovative ways to engage employees and have them help foster innovation. Doing so would take an initiative beyond monthly meetings and suggestion boxes. “Our staff are so busy caring for patients, that they have little time to write down ideas, or remember them in between meetings”, said Linda. Linda heard of Idea Pipeline from one of their Board Members. She decided to have a look, and quickly setup a group on the platform. The pilot group of staffers numbered 125. The first week saw 11 significant idea submissions. One staffer had so many novel suggestions, she was called in to meet with a leadership team. Quickly, Linda saw the need to augment the structure of LindenGrove to augment the development of staff, patients and the organization.
Elder care establishments are only as good as their staff. And keeping quality staff engaged, motivated and frankly, keeping them at all, is the biggest challenge. The work is rewarding, yet demanding, emotionally and even physically. First, they setup an Employee Engagement Committee to help foster the best environment on campus. This Committee split into several Councils – Wellness, Care Partners, etc. Overall, employee satisfaction is up, turnover is down, and patient care keeps improving.
Today, LindenGrove is adding new roles to create a deeper innovation team, and rolling out Idea Pipeline to the entire 1200-person staff using the new mobile app. “This is just what we needed”, notes Linda Joel.