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“Every human being has a great idea.”
This quote by Lale Kesebi, Chief Communications Officer and Head of Strategic Engagement at Li & Fung, perfectly sums up an opportunity that’s right in front of every company’s face.
Whether your organization has 100 or 100,000 employees, each individual has ideas for new products or improvements, drawn from their day-to-day experiences and knowledge.
Forward-looking companies such as Citi, Siemens, UnitedHealth Group, and others see the collective intelligence of all their employees as a significant competitive advantage. An advantage they can’t afford to ignore during a time when disruption is coming from every angle.
One of the ways these companies are turning the intelligence of their workforce into valuable outcomes is through hackathons.
If you’re not familiar with hackathons, they’re events that can range from a couple of hours to multiple days where people – traditionally designers and programmers – collaborate to create prototypes of new products, services, or apps.
While hackathons are synonymous with the tech industry, we’re starting to see more companies outside of technology – financial services for example – take the hackathon framework and adapt it to fit their goals and culture.
In other words, companies are using hackathons to bring the expertise and skills of their employees together and create an environment where great ideas can be identified.
This is why a hackathon can be a phenomenal way for you to take advantage of the energy and creativity of your employees, and leverage it to surface new ideas for products, services, experiences, even ways to tackle specific business challenges such as high customer churn.
Here’s an example. A Spigit customer, who is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the U.S., leverages hackathons to focus the energy of its employees on specific target problems.
In a recent hackathon, the company was looking for new ways to improve customer experience ultimately to help customers make better investment decision. The winning idea that was selected came from an employee who thought of a creative way for customers to research and see how the company’s mutual funds fit into their portfolio before buying.
When coupled with idea software, like Spigit, a hackathon can give every employee a voice no matter where they are in the world. This means valuable ideas won’t fall through the cracks simply because a person is located in a remote office, or has a low-level role in the company.
Now that you have context around what hackathons are and why they’re useful, let’s talk about best practices you can use to get the most out of them while using ideation software.
If organized the right way, hackathons can be a valuable initiative for your company. One that you can turn to as frequently as you’d like to.
Follow the best practices outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to having corporate hackathons that uncover new opportunities, facilitate the creation of an innovative culture, and a lot more.