Cases2.0 and IdeaFactory

As many of you know, Rich built a cool site we have been using internally called IdeaFactory. Adoption internally has been astounding. We have tapped into a well of pent up expertise. It is proof that the 1:1 model of sharing (i.e. email your boss a good idea) just doesn’t work. There are many reasons for this, but the ones that come to mind for me are the following:

1. Executives are busy: They just don’t have time to champion every new idea they hear. They have a filter. It allows them to get their day job done.

2. Success Path: Management got where they are by making other their previous managers happy or successful. In most cases, this happens by doing what the boss asks, well. Doing ideas that come from subordinates just doesn’t compute. The exception to this is when the idea coming up the chain, meshes with priorities coming down the chain. Welcome to corporate America.

3. Social Proof: This is an idea that Cialdini put forth about why people do what they do. In essence, people do what they see others doing. If an idea is sent via email, it’s isolated. This isolation makes it less likely to be adopted. Being out on a limb is scary.

The beauty of IdeaFactory is that it provides not only visibility of ALL ideas to EVERYONE, but it also allows discussion and ratings. It now becomes clear what ideas generate the most heat and which ones the collective feels are important to pursue. Sharing begets more sharing. Ideally, this site should help us hone our thoughts into actions and give mangement the fortitude to drive more innovation.

Incidentally, I posted some info about IdeaFactory on Andrew McAfee’s new Enterprise 2.0 Repository.



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