Tuesday, 9 June 2009

How to make a company idea generation scheme work

Watching I'm Loving Sainsbury's on Tuesday nights on Channel Four we got to thinking about lessons we could take from it. After a chat and a glass of wine, we came up with this:

We've distilled our 6 lessons here:

1) Great ideas come from the shop floor. Don't always run your idea generation sessions with functional folk in Marketing or HR. Your front line staff are closest to your customers and know what they really want.

2) Start small with a trial but put big metrics in place. Innovation is often accused of being wishy washy - only because we don't put the right measures on it.

3) Use Double Metrics - your idea must have commercial and customer benefit. Sainsbury's measured this weeks idea of "taking the store to the customer" through sales uplift and exit interviews.

4) Let the idea generators own and test the idea. Don't run away with it to Head Office - coach from there.

5) Prepare for all your assumptions to be challenged. This week the store host idea was initially a concern to Sainsbury's Customer Experience Manager. But the trial proved the double benefit was there.

6) If it is not working in trial, be ruthless. Don't demotivate the idea generators, but don't have a slow and painful death. On the reverse side, if it works, roll it out quickly before your competitor gets wind of it and does the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment