Do you know that the unavailability of the idea generation system in your company can produce many bad results for the company? Here you can find my experience working as a consultant for a small company, what we see, what we implemented, and what was the results achieved by the implementation of a simple 5 step process.
Idea generation system is an essential element of each business. It doesn’t matter if you are a small company. You will always need a system that will have a purpose to generate fresh ideas for your company.
What Happened to One Company Without Idea Generation System
A few years ago, I worked with a client, a small company that offers services to other small and medium-sized companies. Then, it was a seven-year-old company who already survived the startup stage and with high-level growth in the previous five years.
The company owner finds some negative trends in their results that don’t make him happy. So, he contacted me to help him find why the income starts decreasing slowly and what they can do to stay on the top of the market. I began to look at their books, their history, talk with the employees and several of their most important customers.
The question was why the company finds itself in the stagnation stage with possible negative trends for the future.
How Unavailability of Idea Generation System Bring Uncertain Future For the Company
After analyzing the company’s market as an external factor and seeing how they work or how they generate the income for the company, I come to the conclusions presented below.
As you can see, the main reasons for the bad results of the company were their marketing and sales systems. Now, they have more competition with better and improved services. On the other side, their current operating procedures were outdated. So, they start late with the delivery, and their current customers begin to think about other service providers.
Also, their company doesn’t have a formal sales system. They have tremendous success at the company’s beginning, and customers just come to them to get their services. But, now there is competition with better services, with much more aggressive marketing and sales approaches. So, again their customers have more options and easily can change them with other service providers.
They need to do something. But the central question is what the company needs to do. They haven’t improved themselves in the last five years, so they need an idea generation system to help implement continuous improvement processes in their marketing, sales, and production processes.
We need to start with something.
How to Build A Sustainable Idea Generation System Inside Existing Business?
Working together with the entrepreneur, we have created a 4 step process to start changing things inside the company. Here are the steps that we have created to start building your idea generation system:
1. Development of idea generation processes inside the company
As a first, I want to create a more sustainable solution when it comes to continuous improvements and changes the company will need to make in the future. So, we have started with the development of the idea generation system. One of the first draft processes was related to the idea generation system in the picture below.
2. Start testing the idea generation system through already identified problems in the company
When we decide about the process, the next thing we have to do is start testing our newly developed process. We create a team of several employees, the owner, and all managers that will begin testing the idea generation process in action. The purpose was to collect a minimum of 15 improvement ideas and implement one as the most important for the company.
3. Educate all employees how they can use and where they are in the idea generation process
Our idea generation process requires active participation from all employees in the company. Everyone can have and can share their ideas related to the possible improvements of business operations. So, we need to educate them through several workshops organized in 2 weeks.
4. Implement the best ideas to improve the company’s operations
We have already collected more than 100 improvement ideas through our newly developed idea generation system through testing and education. So, we continue with the implementation. At this stage, we have implemented around 20 ideas. Executed ideas were ideas for which the decision was that they are most critical to bring the most significant results in the quickest possible time.
5. Improve the idea generation system according to the results of the activation
Because we have already implemented more than 20 ideas through our idea generation system, we were able to see the possible improvement that we will need to achieve. We have implemented three changes in our primary idea generation process through this stage. Implementation of those changes has decreased the overall time required for the idea generation part and idea implementation part.
Then Come Big Surprise! We Achieve Tremendous Results After Three Months
After three months, when we had already made several iterations in our idea generation system, it was time to check what we had achieved. When we saw the results, it was a massive surprise for us. We didn’t expect that. We hope for some results, but not in such a significant dimension. Here are some of the most significant achievements and results we have achieved through this process:
- We have generated more than 200 improvement ideas through our idea generation system.
- We have implemented more than 60 improvement ideas through our idea generation system.
- 30% increase in the customer base.
- The increase in the income was by 25%?
- The moral of the employees was increased because everyone finds themselves essential and valuable person for the company.
So, with the tiny improvement that was not related directly to the bad results of the company, we have achieved tremendous results.
If you don’t have your idea generation system active in your company, this is the right time to start developing one. Such a system can potentially change the whole look and the way your company operates today. All businesses and yours work in a highly dynamic environment. You cannot expect to survive or be on top of your market if you don’t change your company. If you want to change, you need a continuous improvement process based on the idea generation system you will install inside your company.