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How To Run A Successful Innovation Contest In Your Organization?

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In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, you need to continuously come up with new ideas and implement them in the form of a product or service. This is easier said than done. With quickly changing customer experience to meet, businesses have their work cut out.

Irrespective of the challenges, innovation is what separates successful businesses from mediocre ones. It can help you identify new opportunities in newer markets that you have not explored before. Additionally, it can have a positive impact on the overall efficiency and productivity of your business which also translates into positive ROI.

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors and dominate your industry, you will have to constantly innovate. Finding fresh ideas all the time might be difficult but imperative. So, how can businesses win with innovation and find unique ideas which can help them to thrive? That is exactly what we are going to find out in this article.

In this article, you will learn about seven ways you can use it to launch a winning innovation contest.

How to Run a Successful Innovation Contest In Your Organization?

How to Run a Successful Innovation Contest In Your Organization?

Here are seven ways you can use it to run an innovation contest successfully.

Get Executive Buy In

Just because you are the CIO of the company who thinks innovation contests are great does not mean that others might agree with you. You need to get buy-in from C-suite executives just like you would do for buying cheap dedicated hosting for your business. Once you have their support, it is much easier for you to organize an innovation contest and get the best results out of it. The support can come in form of sponsorship or it could come in the form of human resources. In both cases, this will make your life easier as a CIO.

In order to get their buy-in, you need to convince them these innovation contests can deliver immense value to your organization in the long term. It can be a great source of generating new and unique product ideas and could also end up giving your business a competitive edge. Top level executives want to see real value behind initiatives. If you can communicate the real value of VPS hosting, they will give you the green signal to migrate from cheap dedicated server hosting to VPS Singapore.

Tie It With Core Values

If you really want the best results out of innovation contests, you should tie it to your core business values. There is no point in spending time and money organizing an innovation contest that does not align with your business philosophy. You want it to produce unique ideas that can help your business grow in future, instead of producing random ideas which can not be implemented by your business.

For example, if your organziation core values encourages employees to be the change they want to see and make, this aligns perfectly with the innovation contest theme. Similarly, if your key business objectives includes reducing costs while boosting efficiency, innovation can help you with that too.

Outline The Process and Timeline

A vast majority of innovation initiatives in general and innovation contests fail because they don’t have a clearly defined  process or timeline. Even those who have a clearly outlined timeline and process don’t communicate it properly to the participants. 

Instead of keeping participants guessing on what to expect from the innovation contests, you should clearly communicate the agenda, timelines, milestones and process to all the participants before the contest starts. This way, they know what to expect from the innovation contest and how they can give it their best shot.

Nurture Your Finalist

Innovation contests should be run just like tournaments where participants compete with one another to reach the semi final round. The winners of the semi finals make it to the finals. Once two participants reach the final round, it is important for you to coach them before the finals. 

Tell them the formats of the finals. If they have to deliver a presentation to pitch their ideas, they should be well prepared for it. Give them a sneak peak into what questions judges could ask them and how long the sessions will last. Lastly, share the judging criteria so they know how they will be evaluated. 

Implement The Best Ideas

To spice things up a little, you can also include a People’s Choice Award as well. This will involve other employees in the contest. By giving voting rights to other employees who are not participating in the innovation contest, it could peak their interest in the event. You never know this could also encourage them to be a part of the event next year. Including people’s choice awards can also give you a different perspective of what your judges might think is the best idea.

Implement The Best Ideas

The primary purpose of organizing an innovation contest is to come up with unique ideas and implement them. If you are not implementing the ideas from your innovation contests, it kills the purpose of organizing such events in the first place. Ask each participant how they would implement the ideas they are proposing and map it with your specific business case to achieve the best results. Sit together with participants and explore how your business can put their ideas into execution and create a product or service to help customer problems.

Recognize, Appreciate and Reward All Participants

To create a culture of innovation, it is important that you first recognize the efforts that all the participants have put in to make your innovation contest successful. Next, you should appreciate their dedication to their ideas. Lastly, you should reward all participants, not just the winners. This will encourage others to take part in the innovation contest the next time. This will also help you develop an innovative culture in your organziation which will help you in the long run especially when it comes to churning out innovative ideas and products on a consistent basis.

How do you run an innovation contest in house? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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