|CREATIVE BUSINESS DIGEST - Issue No. 6.4, 2006|
Internal Stock Market For Ideas
Rite-Solutions co-founders, James R. Lavoie and Joseph M. Marino conducted a fascinating experiment to generate all the ideas their company needs.
Any employee, regardless of rank, seniority or job function, can propose that Rite-Solutions acquire a new technology, enter a new business or make an efficiency improvement. Those ideas become stocks, which employees buy and sell on an internal market whose operations mimic that of an actual stock market. Each employee gets $10,000 (not real cash, but virtual "opinion money") that he or she can use to invest in various stocks. Prices change based on the judgment of everyone at the company. The higher the price, the more likely it is that Rite-Solutions will adopt the idea - whether or not the founders agree. Indeed, its most successful new product generated little enthusiasm among the senior ranks. But the grass-roots support was so palpable that the company pursued the product anyway.
This article contains three key points worthy for you to ponder over.
Thomas Wilson , CEO of Allstate wants employees to think of Allstate more as a consumer products company that happens to sell insurance as opposed to just an insurance company.
He cites such innovations as Allstate's introduction of identity theft insurance as well as its Your Choice Auto program, which offers options for consumers depending on whether they care the most about cheap coverage or comprehensive coverage.
Source : Chicago Tribune, 5 Nov, 2006
There is room for innovation in any business, including insurance. Perhaps it is time that you take a re-look into your present business and explore new ideas together with your people.
Awards to colleges designed to spur innovation
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation of Hudson and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., on Friday announced awards of totaling $6.6 million to five local liberal-arts colleges to encourage their students to connect innovative ideas to free enterprise. The program pairs students with a nonprofit agency to solve real-life problems.
The five colleges have specific plans to create and foster the mindset stressing innovation. Most plan to infuse existing courses with a free-enterprise component, provide internships and connect with local businesses. For example, one of the colleges will create a minor in entrepreneurship and eventually start an entrepreneur-in-residence program as well as a venture capital fund. The goal is showing the students how to go about innovation and change by launching new enterprise in the real world.
Source: Cleveland News 18 Nov, 2006
College students provide an excellent resource for you to tap into new business ideas. You can do this too by allocating a fund and working with an NGO, an educational authority or professional body to organize similar activities.
Crowdcasting – Tapping MBA students for ideas
For a couple of days this month, executives from American Express, General Electric Money, Mars, and Whirlpool are using crowdcasting to gain a competitive edge only their rivals. They turned turned to 3,000 MBA students to solve their strategic dilemmas. The students were competing to come up with products and services by tackling the companies' real-world problems.
These companies pay upwards of $50,000 to participate in the competitions. The competition is organized by Idea Crossing that runs the MBA Innovation Challenge . Idea Crossing also earns consulting and licensing fees from companies that use its Web platform to manage their own idea challenges.
Another crowdcasting company, InnoCentive, a spinoff of drug giant Eli Lilly, boasts an impressive roster of multinational customers like Boeing, DuPont, and Procter & Gamble (The companies use InnoCentive to issue online challenges to scientists, universities, and research institutes when they need fixes for seemingly insoluble problems. Corporate clients pay $80,000 to join InnoCentive, as well as a commission for each problem solved.
Unlike "crowdsourcing," the that refers to tapping consumers for ideas, crowdcasting broadcasts a company's problem to a specific - and carefully chosen - group.
Source: Business 2.0 Magazine, 21 Nov 2006
I have been involved as a judge in the Innovation Challenge competition for the past three years. The number of teams and countries taking part in this competition has been increasing steadily. It is an effective way to get the MBA students to solve real life business problems, providing a good payback on investment. It may be timely for your organization to consider crowdcasting to pursue your innovation agenda.
|Primary Ideas Generation|
|Nurturing Creative Children|
|Quotes on Creativity|
|Resources & Linkages|