Conference: Idea Management/Imaginatik

At the Innovation Conference I attended, Hallmark Cards, Inc., presented their Keepsake Ornaments case study on Idea Management. They worked with Imaginatik and their online Idea Central product. Mark Turrell, CEO of Imaginatik, also spoke.

Some initial steps Hallmark took at the outset of their Innovation project:

* Obtained Senior Management approval.
* Set a clear goal (develop new products in their Keepsake line), timeline, and budget ($5MM).
* appointed a “SWAT” Team to tackle the project.
* Identified potential obstacles to the online Idea Management concept.

The general process is:

1. Idea Generation – they used clear, fill-in-the blanks forms that helped idea providers give their ideas consistenctly and completely.
2. Concept Development – developed criteria and evaluated ideas against it; built upon strongest ideas.
3. Concept Actualization – prototypes developed for consumer test.
4. Product Testing

Hallmark deemed the project a success. 17 product ideas made it protype; 15 of them rated superior and different; three leading to new sub-brands for Keepsakes. They retained the 250 ideas originally submitted for further use.

No comments

  1. Really good stuff: simple, clear but enough to give a good outline to the overall process. Could use this in some staff situations.

  2. My Takeaways:

    * Should we get more focused in our idea generation? Work with the Critical Issues Group, NTP, or ourselves to determine the foci?
    * Should we add more specific questions to Springboard?
    * Should we work with an external consultant/academic on any of this?
    * Should we take a look at idea management software?

  3. Hmm. Good questions. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I think your ideas about focusing make sense. We could probably get some more specific results. We should probably work with other groups for that.

    But! I think FI Center and Sprinboard should stay open to the possible idea from left field that’s good too. I don’t think we should get so institutionalized that we are back where we started with everything going through too many control channels.

    Maybe we could play both sides of the fence.

  4. “I think FI Center and Springboard should stay open to the possible idea from left field that’s good too.”

    I agree! The major process presented at the conference allowed for and acknowledged both reactive and proactive innovation streams.

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