Companies often come to us looking to solve a particular challenge in their organization or for help with their innovation program as a whole. We enjoy working with them, and they find that Kindling provides a structured approach toward innovation and problem solving, while integrating throughout their organization, increasing communication, and reducing organizational barriers. We’d like to offer some ways in which Kindling can help with innovation in your organization.
1. Find out what your company can be doing better
Ask your employees where they see room to improve. What are the biggest inefficiencies in your company? Where is there room to cut costs? Everyone in your organization has ideas—listen to them.
2. Organize conversations around ideas
Eliminate the email CC problem. Not on an email chain? Getting too many emails? Include all participants from the beginning and reduce the risk of missing someone who might have shared a game changing idea.
3. Have one, global conversation
Time differences, language barriers, and variations between cultures can be challenging to overcome. Kindling can help you get around these challenges by providing a place to communicate strategic decisions, align teams across the world, and eliminate the difficulty of finding a time zone and language that works for everyone.
4. Keep an eye on the competition
Create a designated place for sales & marketing to share news about competing vendors, your industry, and your position in the market. The entire company can learn from this information and share their insights about countering a competitive move or growing market share.
5. Launch a Campaign to address a specific challenge
Identify a need or opportunity and create a Kindling Campaign to motivate your people—the timeframe of a Campaign, especially in conjunction with the right organizational support, is a highly effective way of getting people to pitch in to solve a problem or meet a goal.
6. Come up with next year’s business strategy
Are you the CEO? Ask your employees for their input about next year’s strategic plans. Those close to your customers probably have insight into validating new features as well as what new markets you should enter or products you should be investing in (or avoiding).
7. Cut costs
Ask your staff where they see an opportunity to cut costs. Just as employees are a perfect source for ideas about product and service innovation, they can identify potential efficiencies in their everyday work environment. Consider a reward for employees whose ideas are ultimately implemented.
8. Eliminate barriers in your organizational structure
Does your marketing team ever hear from the manufacturing team? Does the sales team for one product communicate with the sales team for another? Does your management team hear from any of these groups? A great idea can emerge from anywhere in the company and Kindling is the place to share it.
9. Up your marketing game
Discuss ways that your website can meet your objectives. Have a conversation about your buyers and how to offer a solution to their pain points. Engage sales and customer teams in planning for an integrated campaign. The possibilities are endless.
10. Gather product ideas
Engage your community, from employees to partners, vendors, or customers, and allow them to directly contribute to the evolution of your products and services. The people closest to the product, your employees and customers, are often your best source for new ideas.
11. Incorporate customer feedback early
Ask your customers for their opinions about your latest product idea. Be lean and learn whether a feature is worth the investment. Let customers have a role in the product process before you invest in building.
12. Be there when inspiration strikes
Your best, most engaged employees are occasionally thinking about work at night or at their child’s soccer game or dance recital. Allow them to quickly pull out their phone and snap a picture that inspired a great idea. That picture might inspire even more great ideas from the rest of the team.
13. Connect your sales efforts with the organization
Break down the barrier between the sales team and the rest of the organization. Salespeople in the field are hearing directly from customers. Create a way for them to share with your entire organization, from marketing to engineering, about what they’re learning in the field.
14. Keep people informed
Keep the entire organization informed and motivated: share the news of a new competitor in your market; lay out the management team’s annual vision; discuss ways of achieving the CEO’s annual goals.
15. Discuss how to attract the best talent
Ask your team what made them select your offer over others and what wasn’t in the offer that would have made the decision easier. Finding talent is no longer solely the job of HR—engage your entire company or certain departments in the conversation.
16. Improve the employee experience
Learn from your employees about improving their work environment and experience. What resources are missing from your internal intranet? Maybe you need standing desks? Engage your employees in a conversation around job satisfaction, otherwise, they’ll find a place that does.
17. Maintain a central idea archive
You’re already doing it by using Kindling: creating a searchable, accessible archive of all of the ideas in your company and the discussions around them. Kindling is a great resource for new employees—they’ll see how the company makes decisions and how people communicate with each other. And one of those older ideas might just be finding its time.
18. Share findings from industry events
Share insights from industry events and extend the knowledge to the rest of the team. An employee at an event can share the experience with the entire company by simply pulling out her phone to take a picture of a competitor’s new product or a partner’s booth and adding it to an Idea or Post in Kindling.
19. Collaborate with people you’ve never met
Work with people from outside your team or outside your office. They might have a new perspective to offer or share the idea that’s been at the tip of your tongue. An employee in that company you just acquired may have the missing part that makes your idea amazing.
20. Enjoy innovation
With its easy setup, low barrier to entry, short learning curve, and focused, simple design, Kindling is software people enjoy using.