Inculcating Innovation

Six Sigma Forum Magazine vol. 10 issue 1 - November 2010

Abstract: Companies seeking a competitive advantage must be able to manage ideas effectively. Idea management focuses on identifying and selecting the relatively few ideas of exceptional quality out of a stream of raw concepts. In 2006 Pfizer developed an electronic platform to facilitate idea management, bringing together people for brainstorming and problem solving. The tool helps users by capturing rough ideas and enabling developing, sharing, and reviewing ideas seen as strong potential contributors toward strategic goals. The system uses a problem solving strategy that supports a campaign as it moves through the classic stages of divergence toward convergence. Pfizer has used its idea management platform with groups ranging from 200 to 20,000 participants, developing ideas on a broad range of subjects, and ultimately avoiding $200 million in costs while identifying $100 million in concepts under development.

Keywords: Knowledge management (KM); Information management; Innovation; Decision making; Group decision support systems; Problem solving; Brainstorming; Computer software; Case study

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