Listening Is Just The Start

Jeff Howe writes: idea jams “allow people to discover the fringe question (or idea, or solution), then tweak it, discuss it and bring the community’s attention to it.”

“Idea management is really a three-part process,” says Bob Pearson, who as Dell’s former chief of communities and conversation rode heard on IdeaStorm. “The first is listening. That’s obvious.” The second part, Pearson says, was integration, “actually disseminating the best ideas throughout our organization. We had engineers studying IdeaStorm posts and debating how they could be implemented.”

The last part is the trickiest and most important: “It involves not just enacting the ideas, but going back into your community and telling them what you’ve done.” Starbucks, which maintains its own version of IdeaStorm, employs 48 full-time moderators whose only job is to engage the online community. In other words, Starbucks is investing the vast share of its resources in the second and third parts of the idea management cycle.

Listen, evolve, report. Sounds like good advice to me.