In today’s ‘disrupted’ business environment, “idea management” is all the rage. It’s all about management working with their employees to build better, happier companies, where everybody is given a chance to express their opinion, and it is listened to.
Sideways6 are London based start-up at the forefront of this movement. The firm announced today that it has raised a substantial £0.5 million seed funding round to “further advance their business, widen their potential reach and bring in new staff to what is already a profitable company”
Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of LastMinute.com, and members of the 24 Haymarket Group, are amongst the backers.
Sideways 6 has been growing rapidly in part thanks to “great working environment and a great team”, says founder Will Read. We’ve already seen a lot of interest from large companies who are committed to listen to their employees and employees that are really enthusiastic about having their voice heard too”
What makes sideways six unique according to the founding team is the platform’s ability to go to the places that employees are already present in, such as Microsoft Yammer, or an employees’ work email account.
Most idea management, or innovation management, as it is sometimes referred to, startups rely on employees having to download an app to become involved in the process, which Sideway 6 says is a turnoff.
The Startup says that by focusing on “making it as easy as possible for employees to contributed valuable insight to the organisations they work for” they see up to 10 times the engagement and 10 times the results of their closest competitors.
The startups’ impressive roster of clients include Virgin Trains, British Airways, BP, and British Gas.
Drew McMillan, Head of innovation and Virgin Trains describe Sideways 6 as “the natural choice for us. I consider the team at strategic partners in our drive to be even more innovative as a business and I’m delighted with the results thus far.”
Sideway six can handle employee ideas, insight and feedback, increase efficiency, uncover new products and services and find better ways of working, according to its website.
Organisations can run seamlessly structured employee idea campaigns and benefit from collaborative innovation whilst at the same time making employees feel like a valued cog within a larger machine.
According to a recent blog post by Read, over a quarter of all software deployed in large enterprises goes unused.
“Trying to convince thousands of people in your organisation to sign up to and log into a brand-new system which as much as you’d love it to be isn’t as important to them as it is to you, is a major struggle” Read writes.
The solution? “Remove as much friction between the average employee and participation in your idea crowdsourcing challenge as possible.”
Whilst downloading an app in order to provide feedback does not strike the “HT” as a particularly onerous undertaking, and rival idea management services such as Motivii, might agree, it’s likely that the battle for market share in the World of employee feedback and idea and innovation management will be decided by miniscule margins.
Sideways 6 more direct approach may give it the edge in what is shaping up to be a competitive, and potentially lucrative space. Brent Hoberman, plus a stable of experienced investors, certainly seem to think so.