Capture the Creative Energy of Everyone in your Organisation

Innovation Challenges (Image by

Have you thought of running innovation challenges? They can:

  • solve your most pressing problems
  • increase productivity, reduce costs
  • capture the creative energy of everyone in your organisation

They’re engaging, interesting and motivating.

An innovation challenge is a real problem you want to solve. It can be in any area: technical, operational or commercial.

An innovation challenge starts with a challenge statement. This is a short headline that describes the problem you want to solve. It should capture people’s interest and make them want to find out more. The challenge statement comes with additional background information to get you thinking.

The challenge is shared with a diverse group of people in a meeting, a workshop or online.

People submit ideas for solutions. Everyone can contribute. A pool of raw and developed ideas is generated. People can develop, build on and combine the ideas that have been submitted.

Over time they build on the initial ideas to make them more feasible and implementable. Promising ideas are selected. They can be tested, piloted, improved and implemented.

The benefits:

  • It focuses your people on problems that matter
  • It fuses the concepts of social networking, collaboration, and idea management to solve real world problems
  • People get a buzz out of helping others, and they learn more while they collaborate
  • It produces measurable, actionable solutions to real world challenges

Good for the bottom line:

  • One pharmaceutical company runs 70 challenges a year. They generate $1Bn in added value to their pipeline from innovation challenges every year.
  • At a consumer product company one of their truck drivers proposed in idea that earned an additional $150M sales in 3 months.
  • A chemical company had been ‘working around’ a problem for 15 years. Within 3 months of setting the challenge they had a workable solution, they had piloted it, showed it worked and started to use it routinely.
  • At one telecoms provider 1 in 3 staff work on challenges. They have 180,000 employees – that’s over 60,000 staff helping solve the company’s problems!

How could your organisation use Challenge Driven Innovation?

Image by Used under a Creative Commons License.


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