Make Innovation Everybody's Business

The Next Big Idea is Already in the Building

Here’s how to get it.

The surprisingly simple secret to getting ideas of true value and boosting corporate culture for innovation.

Good news! The next big idea is closer than you think. In fact, there’s a good chance the one idea that will propel your company into the future is already somewhere in the building as you read this.

As we’ve written about earlier, science tells us that humans are hardwired to get ideas. And according to our data, half of them are already collecting dust somewhere in a drawer or taking up an unassuming amount of kilobytes, in a folder no one ever bothers to open. That can be fixed.

More and more companies seem to have cracked it, when it comes to getting ideas from all around the organization. And that leads us to ‘surprisingly simple secret’ to getting all those ideas: “Ask”. You simply have to ask for them. The way do to that, is by hosting an Idea Competition.

At Nosco, we’ve had clients use the idea platform for idea competitions for almost 10 years, but we’ve noticed growth in this area in 2016. We’d like to highlight our three most recent idea competitions. In these, a total of 4.854 ideas from employees were shared in the space of 9 weeks. On the face of it, the sheer number of ideas can be a mixed blessing, because someone has to sift through all those ideas and find the most useful ones. Again, Idea Competitions come to our rescue. Because all participants in the competition can do a great of job of debating, improving and highlighting the ideas that show the most potential and gather the most excitement.

So, Idea Competitions are especially useful for three things:

  1. Getting large numbers of ideas.
  2. Finding the best ideas.
  3. Building excitement about innovation.

To find a winning idea, have them compete

Whenever an idea competition is launched, there is a sense of excitement, buzzing around the offices and production sites. Competing seems to connect to a natural emotion in us humans. Perhaps it’s in our genes. Only the fittest survive, right?

Aside from this, the competition format, you also ensure an effective and fast process for finding the ideas that matter right now. Typically, the idea competition format also means using the platform to form idea teams around the best ideas, and pitting them head to head in a “pitch off”, to find the winner.

The ideas are already in the building

When we ask the participants in these competitions or challenges, more than 50 % tell us “I already had the idea lying around”. These are the aggregate responses of idea competitions, we’ve hosted over the years.


That’s it. Simply ask. Ask hundreds, or even thousands of people at the same time. You can also let them know why their answers matter to the future of the company.

A great example

There are many results that we cannot share with you here. But here’s a clip that we can share with you. It’s from Bühler Group, a company who makes use of idea competitions both internally and externally.


Allianz, Novozymes, Danfoss, Visma, Pentax and Billabong are other companies that have used the Nosco platform to find ideas in the building.

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