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The innovation game

You’re in the shower, commuting to work or down the pub, when you are suddenly struck by a genius idea, but by the time you’re done, the million pound idea you had has faded. Short walks, long drives and even the monotony of food shopping seem to trigger moments of innovation. But annoyingly these are often places where you don’t have the chance to write down your thoughts or do research.

Creativity comes in lots of forms, but the point is ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, and can strike at any moment. This is exactly what Adobe has recognised by fostering creativity and supporting its employees’ business ideas to help make them a reality. Kickbox is its new innovation scheme developed for its own use, but it has now open-sourced it to provide universal access to the steps and advice for all companies for free through a creative commons license.

The scheme
Adobe provides everything innovators need. For its own employees it came in a mysterious red box. Inside were a number of start-up goodies: a Starbucks gift card, instructions, templates, checklists and a self-gating six-stage progress to success. There was also a $1000 pre-paid credit card to fund ideas and to enable testing. The instructions for implementing your own Kickbox are available to download.

Traditionally, new product development comes from product innovation teams. But things are changing; today’s fast-growth companies empower and support employees to think like entrepreneurs. Anyone can be an innovator, and great ideas are not only coming from the top-down, they’re coming from interns, customers, marketers and salespeople. Adobe says its mission for Kickbox is to align passion with purpose to ‘build a strong army of innovators’. And for me it’s about getting marketing teams to innovate and generate ideas like the tech superstars.

Just ask yourself, what would happen if you funded all ideas from your workforce? You don’t have to approve all Kickbox ideas from employees but think about all the invaluable insight and research you’ll collect along the way.