Employee-Led Innovation (4): IdeaSedCard and Pitching Contest

Madeleine Gritzbach, Thursday 21 February 2019 | Reading time: unknown

Our series on employee-led innovation continues today with two techniques for comparing and evaluating ideasm, as well as facilitate your employees’ motivation and ambition. 

You want to motivate your employees and successfully lead them to be more innovative and creative. What better way to do so than a little friendly competition among colleagues? 

The Pitching Contest 

So-called Pitching Contests are about developing your own ideas and presenting and defending them to a jury in the shortest possible amount of time. In competition with other ideas, your idea needs to be thought out as far as possible and presented in a way that convinces the jury. When you structure a Pitching Contest, you can either leave the topic open or set a thematic focus. If you allow team pitches, the ideas presented will often be more matured because several experts have already worked on them.  

There are also several possibilities for the composition of the jury: It can either consist of senior management or be headlined by internal or external experts. On the one hand, external experts can reduce your employees’ inhibitions: They may not be afraid of failing as much as if they were presenting their ideas in front of top management. On the other hand, this harbors the risk that internal information and ideas could be passed on to the outside. Another possibility is to involve the other idea providers - they can vote on other ideas and then modify or supplement their own ideas. Best case scenario, this results in productive cooperations that go far beyond the original project.  

It is important for the implementation of pitching contests in the company to create incentives for employees so they will actually submit ideas. First of all, every submission should be rewarded, the winner of the contest should later be rewarded with a notable prize and should feel appreciated! Part of the prize has to be the actual implementation of their idea by providing them with the necessary resources (time, budget, people) to do so.  

Advantages of the Pitching Contest 

Like most of the methods for employee-led innovation, the pitching contest creates a positive innovation culture. In addition to the advantages already described in the first article of the series, the Pitching Contest above all aims at the competitive spirit of the employees. The contest awakens their ambition and spurs them on to extraordinary achievements. In combination with your customer work, a Pitching Contest also displays a great image of your company to the outside world and makes it a more attractive employer to future talents. 

The IdeaSedCard 

The IdeaSedCard is a fairly new method for evaluating and enriching ideas which can also be used for idea pitching. The IdeaSedCard is a larger piece of paper which contains areas for the description and characterization of the idea as well as for a quick visual evaluation, a timeline and a field for possible obstacles. 

The ‘developer’ of an idea only has to fill in the description field. The document will then be forwarded to 'test persons' who will evaluate the idea using the remaining fields and present possible obstacles. On this basis, the original idea can be further developed or new ideas can be promoted. Read more about the IdeaSedCard here (in German): IdeenSedCard


Read more from the Employee-Led Innovation series:

  1. Advantages of In-House Idea Development
  2. Innovation Labs and Open Innovation
  3. Promote Creativity Using These Techniques

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