Mayer combs the site daily, searching for relevant ideas. She digs out the ones that generate the most comments and that seem the most doable. Relevance isn't necessarily measured by how much money an idea makes; it's more about making Google searches better. "Sales may say that we need a certain feature," Mayer explains. "But great technology usually comes from somebody who's spent a year hacking a problem. You can't force technical innovation." In the Friday meetings, Mayer insists on speed. The sessions are kept to one hour, and individual presenters never get more than 10 minutes. But everyone knows that the conversation won't end when the meeting does. Promising ideas are quickly outlined on the intranet site. Usually, the person who came up with the idea is put in charge of turning it into a feature. "I never have to hammer on people," says Rosenberg. "They showcase their ideas and then move on them."
OK so Google are using a program called Sparrow to capture ideas; other net-savvy organizations use Lotus Notes but this is really all about blogging. Give each user their own personal ideas blog or a shared group one and let them blog away their ideas. Then set up a process like the one above to trawl and implement them.
British Airways have had a Lotus Notes based system for capturing flight scheduling ideas for almost 10 years now. At heart - its a blog - albeit a very sophisticated one.