T3 – @Betterific

This week on T3 I’m taking a look at the innovation management platform, Betterific!  Betterific is a crowdsourcing, communication platform that allows employees to present and share ideas, and those within the company to communicate on each others ideas.  It can also be used as an idea generation tool for those in your organization looking for new ideas and innovation to what you already do.

Let me give you an example of how this could be giant!

I worked at Applebee’s (which is true, but the rest is for example purposes!).  We had thousands of restaurants world-wide.  In a franchise environment, the more consistency and continuity you can get from location to location, the more profitable your company will be. When you go into an Applebee’s in Time Square, you expect the same great burger, hot fries and cold beer, as you would get in Albuquerque. If it’s not, it hurts the whole brand, because people don’t know what to expect.

Applebee’s isn’t selling mastery cuisine.  They’re selling great burgers, hot fries and cold beer. They’re selling safe, middle of the road, we know what to expect, it’s going to be a good meal at a decent price.  What you find when you have two thousand restaurants is that some locations find better ways of doing things that the corporate office didn’t know.  The problem is their is no good way to share these ideas and innovations in a franchise environment, or even over so many locations.

Then comes a technology like Betterific.  Betterific’s platform allows locations, employees, the corporate office, etc. to share ideas amongst each other, and it also allows a manager, a certain location, the corporate headquarters to go out in search of the best way to do current stuff, or even new ideas they’re thinking about doing.  Now, instead of leveraging some data from a handful of ‘test’ locations, you get to leverage the knowledge of your entire company!

To me, this is what Betterific is all about, Best Practice sharing at it’s finest, in real time!  When I was at Applebee’s we encouraged best practice sharing, but many times it would take months or years before we could spread this across two thousand locations. What if we could have done it in a week or hours!?

Betterific also employees some gamification aspects which rewards the users for being active in the platform, the quality of ideas, etc. Let’s encourage everyone to use it, but also let’s encourage quality usage as well.  Many times in communication platforms like this, you’ll see a few people hog the conversation. The gamification component rewards those super-users, but also encourages them to share quality information, not just everything.

There is also a follow up mechanism which shows all those using the system what is happening with the knowledge and advice being share. Is the thread closed? Is it something we are considering in the future? Is it something we are going to act on now?  This feedback loop is critical to keep your employees involved and sharing on an ongoing basis.

It’s quick and simple to get started.  You don’t have get IT involved. This is something HR can roll out and test pretty easily with your operations team, or start a leadership exchange, etc. You could even test it within your own department to see how it works. Take a look and give it a quick demo, might be something to really help you energize your employees into sharing great ideas and feedback with each other.

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