All too often, marketing and ad agencies believe they have a monopoly on creativity and ideas for their clients. In reality, the best ideas often are “discovered” through a more collaborative process. Those in the trenches often “spark” the idea that can transform a business.

From Cool News:

More companies are creating “innovation management programs,” reports Rachel Emma Silverman in the Wall Street Journal (10/17/11). For example, Bruce Power, an Ontario nuclear-energy company, encourages employees to “submit ideas through 10 special-purpose kiosks” at its plant. The kiosks, which “look like ATMs” have been in place for three years and give the plant’s workers, many of whom don’t have desks, a way to make suggestions. Other employees then vote on the ideas.

“It’s like the American Idol of ideas,” says Duncan Hawthorne, the company’s chief executive officer. So far, about “11,000 ideas have been submitted” that Duncan says have saved “millions” of dollars. The ideas “have ranged widely from improving efficiency by increasing stocks of tools to creating a dedicated facility for forklift maintenance.” Two years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers launched iPlace, an ideas-management website that has so far generated some 3,300 new ideas, of which 140 have been implemented. Approximately “60 percent of the firm’s 32,000 US employees have either submitted, commented or voted on ideas.

Are ideas central to your business? Do you have marketing people (and agencies) that embrace ideas or prefer to “control” the process?