Innovators are often a minority in their organization. At the same time they are smart people and may sometimes question the winning idea of an award. This hack suggests a do-it-yourself principle for awarding, offering feedback inside the innovation community.
Awards are usual parts of the innovation management system in an organization. Some awards may have hard selection criteria e.g. some financial indexes. However, very often soft criteria selection is accepted.
One of the classifications of awards might be as to the awarding authority, e.g. CEO annual award, Technical director award of this quarter, HR innovation award, etc. Awarding authority may be an individual or a jury. Some awards may be democratically based e.g. on popular voting.
Innovators may sometimes question the selection of the winning idea. Sometimes they think this way but do not speak at all. However, their opinion or feeling may inhibit their next innovation appetite, so we need to overcome this potential division.
There are multiple causes of this, for example:
- the inability of an authority to choose and award the best idea (in the eyes of the innovator) - marketing context in the selection process - various internal influences in the selection process
At the same time innovation is a continous process and we need to support it in the long run. This means awards should be repeated in regular or ad hoc rounds.
One possible solution may be an embedded relay-race principle, for example:
1. Ask the last award winner to select the winning idea in the next round. 2. Make a jury of several (e.g. three) last winning innovators to select the next round winner. 3. Invite the winner to take part in the next round jury.
Advantage is that the innovation community receives an internal feedback by the appliaction of this principle, a kind of freedom and independence.
In my opinion it is useful to establish this community award as a separate one e.g. "Innovation Community Award".