More and more companies are asking visitors to pitch them their ideas. For many this represents the ultimate dream! Many successful websites and online businesses have been built on the vibrancy of their audience providing content. Think eBay, YouTube, Wikipedia and the hundreds of thousands of blogs and forums on every topic under the sun!
As a keynote Marketing speaker I am often asked the keys to generating ideas – certainly one of them is to ask the audience because it has been shown that People create profits.
Probably one of the great examples of this was cited in the book Wikiconomics.
Goldcorp, a US mining company posted all its proprietary information on the internet and invited the public’s interpretations (with cash incentives) of where the ore was located. The process brought the company from $100m in revenue to $9bn.
Transparency - trust not secrecy - is the way forward.
How can you ask?
Why not have your own RENTACROWD session to generate new ideas for your business? This involves inviting a small group from diverse backgrounds to brainstorm new ideas, potential improvements etc.
The rules of engagement are simple: every idea and opinion is noted and honoured regardless of how ridiculous it may seem.
This allows free flow and potential association.
Based on my own experience, I have found that the most creative ideas came from some weird and wonderful suggestions from my advisors.
Remember creativity happens where different ideas meet.
The Apple Genius Bar came from Steve Jobs’ question ‘how do we create a store that has the friendliness of a Four Seasons hotel?’ The Four Seasons had been identified by a focus group as a place where you get the best service. The answer was ‘put a bar in our shops, but not an alcohol bar - an advice bar!’
Business Week wrote this idea off before it even began and said ‘Sorry Steve, Here’s why Apple stores wont work’ but Jobs persisted with his vision of “a buying experience as good as our products,’ and in 2006 Apple had the highest annual sales per square foot ($4032) with Tiffany’s trailing behind at $2,666
At a basic level, every company should host an internal forum/blog where employees can share and co-create new ideas for the business.
If your search is for new product ideas, why not incentivise it by giving employees a share of the revenue if their idea is implemented?
Any modern thinking keynote marketing speaker will extol the virtues of thinking outside the book and coming up with creative ways of finding that killer idea – that killer incremental improvement that may give you the competitive edge within the marketplace.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin is a best-selling author and internationally acclaimed professional keynote speaker on leadership, entrepreneurship, sales, customer service, creativity, human achievement and motivation. He is also the creator of a new business concept, "Xceptionalize", derived from two words, “Exceptional Execution”, which inspires companies and individuals to focus upon "exceptional execution of their duties."

Raised into a small family-owned retail business, Kevin has been selling and negotiating from a very young age. Upon graduating University College Galway with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he entered the demanding world of enterprise sales, superseding sales records in each of the companies for which he worked in the construction and manufacturing industry.

Over the past two decades, Kevin has delivered conference and company keynotes throughout Europe, Middle East, Asia, North and South America for Fortune 500 companies, educational, not-for-profit organisations and such prestigious associations as The Million Dollar Round Table. His experience spans Consumer Retail, Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Technology sectors.

Kevin is an inspired leadership speaker who “walks the path” practicing his own philosophies. Whether it is from having challenged himself to author a best-seller book; to going from high income to low income and back again once he decided to follow his passion; to breaking corporate sales records; to developing an international personal brand, Kevin knows what it takes to bring ideas and strategies alive.

Through his professional speaking platform, Kevin’s driving passion is to share his real-world experiences and ideas. Appreciating that we live and work in an attention deficit society, his on-stage delivery style encourages active audience engagement through a mix of fast-paced interaction, sharing anecdotal life stories and cutting-edge human achievement and excellence research.