KeyStone Innovation Challenge

Generating Ideas for Improvement

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The KeyStone Innovation Challenge is a tool to tap the creative talent in your organization.  A challenge can engage the hearts and minds of your employees while generating creative ideas and solutions for your business. With the challenge, your organization can focus on a key area needing operational improvement. These keystone areas are often identified as a result of running a Denison Organizational Culture Survey.

During the challenge, small cross functional teams are formed for the purpose of generating a large number of creative ideas. These ideas are shared among all teams who use these ideas to create solutions. The solutions are presented in short, 3 minute videos or written idea descriptions (1 per page) to highlight possible improvements. Teams are instructed to produce at least one wild solution and at least one near perfect solution. The trick is to get the teams to engage in diverse thinking around the business challenge and to have some fun. Sometimes it is out of a wild thought that something useful and unique emerges.

The submitted solutions have the same basic elements:

1) Identify the target audience who will be affected or benefit  
2) Identify the specific problem or issue, and
3) Propose a solution.

The videos can be created with a smartphone and simple editing tools. The video above was created with an iPhone. All ideas and solutions are loaded into the "Ideator", a web-based tool used to store, organize, score and filter the submissions.

After the first round of submissions, a panel of judges score the entries. Only those solutions with underlying merit and potential move on to the next round. After several rounds of voting-in the best solutions, some clear winners emerge. As the better solutions make it to the next round, they are given more time and resources to refine their proposal.

The finalists are awarded, celebrated and their ideas implemented.