Employee Ideation for Improved Enterprise Performance
The flow of capital across geographical borders, immigration, off-shoring, globally distributed
development teams and the unimpeded flow of information today, has together created an economic
situation with increased opportunities. However, this has also brought with it, global competition to
the doorstep of organizations, challenging them to work out strategies for survival and for economic
As globalization develops roots in developed and developing countries, the criterion of success is
innovation. In economic terms, innovation refers to technological advancement, or process by which
companies create new economic values, by using resources more effectively and takes place through
networks that span and connect people and business disciplines, from different geographical locations.
The modern day organizations with a large global workforce are a store house of ideas. Innovative
thinking of the employees and customers along with systematized idea management implementation
will help change challenges into opportunities for the organization.
At TCS, the management realized that the TCS Strategy Cultural transformation was impossible
without the involvement of top executives, so Tata's created the Tata Group Innovation Forum
(TGIF), a 12-member panel of senior Tata Group executives and some CEO’s of the independently
run companies. The main objective of the forum was to inspire and collect ideas from the employees
of the companies under its banner through external crowdsourcing software. With a top-down and
bottom-up approach TCS established formal systems for innovative thinking and idea processing.
The multiple channels and trained managers took the employee ideation to creation of innovation
Ideation is a process of collecting ideas, sharing, analyzing and executing on ideas generated within
an enterprise and its collaborative networks, right through realization and customer ranking. With
innovation as the differentiating factor and invention as its critical aspect, the forward thinking
enterprises aligns the thinking out of the box, spontaneity and creativity of the employees, with
organizational goals and objectives. This gives them the competitive edge required in today’s
aggressive business environment.
Strategies for successful employee ideation led innovation includes:
● Replacing rigid processes with clear business objectives
● Challenging employees to compete
● Encouraging employee innovations with rewards
● Focusing on core organizational strengths
● Linking strategy, customers, and capabilities
Further, efficient idea management software will help enterprises to organize the idea process and
reap valuable benefits in the form of new products and services, Process enhancements, enhanced
collaboration across teams and improved brand value loyalty and enterprise performance.
In continuation of their employee ideation process, TCS has launched the IdeaMax, a Digg-like
social network to let employee submit, comment, and vote on ideas. Out of more than 12,000 ideas
collected till date, several hundreds have become profitable projects for the organization. The benefits
reaped by TCS from employee ideation, has led them to incorporate innovation as one of the criteria
for the annual review. Further the 'Young Innovator Award ' ensures the winning employee a salary
hike and acceleration in the career. For the organization, stimulating such innovative thinking helps in
achieving innovation goals.
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