Novo Nordisk’s IdeaStream

In response to a rapid 2013 expansion, Novo Nordisk’s Clinical, Medical, and Regulatory Affairs (CMR) Leadership Team instituted IdeaStream to engage employees in the field and home office and to introduce innovations to create competitive advantage in a changing business environment.

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, Inc.’s IdeaStream shows directly how technology can be used to both engage a decentralized workforce and to create innovation within an organization.

In response to a rapid 2013 expansion, the Clinical, Medical, and Regulatory Affairs (CMR) Leadership Team instituted IdeaStream to engage employees in the field and home office and to introduce innovations to create competitive advantage in a changing business environment.

In IdeaStream, the business poses a challenge and releases it to the audience for a limited time. Employees submit their ideas and engage in a dialogue by registering comments and votes. As ideas in the system gain momentum, they pass predetermined criteria to rise through levels where the best are analyzed by experts, reviewed by executives, and implemented in the organization.

Program objectives include:

  • Create cross-functional employee engagement at all levels regardless of physical location
  • Utilize collective intelligence of the organization to solve business problems
  • Develop effective communication strategies designed to increase employee engagement

Program Details

Developing a successful launch to a crowdsourcing platform began with identifying a platform that fit the culture of the organization. IdeaStream configuration required that it be adaptable to leverage familiar technology, typical organizational communication pathways, and Novo Nordisk visual identity.

Standing up a platform with the Novo Nordisk “look and feel” created energy and excitement around the launch.

Additionally, identifying individuals across the organization to accept roles as community moderators, expert reviewers, and change champions helped create buzz around the organization in preparation of IdeaStream’s launch. Finally, extensive communication planning designed to engage the audience via multiple channels with strategic messages at critical times ensured operational success.

Results

  • Employees advanced more than 61 innovations during the course of the two challenges.
  • Employees ranging from chief medical officer to administrative assistant entered ideas into the system; those ideas sparked conversation based on their quality and uniqueness rather than by the submitter’s role.
  • CMR incorporated three of the top ideas into a new Rewards and Recognition program, and a fourth was noted as a potential disruptive technology to bring higher disease state awareness to underserved communities.
  • Engagement numbers for the two challenges exceeded expectations, reaching 247 percent and 188 percent of active unique participant targets. A unique active participant is defined as someone submitting an idea, comment, vote, or any combination thereof. Additionally, active participant profiles mirrored the distribution of home office versus field employees (approximately 75 percent/25 percent) for both challenges, showing that IdeaStream effectively engaged a diverse and decentralized workforce.
  • The organization continues to use communication strategies developed by IdeaStream to drive employee engagement within CMR.

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