Are there documented, effective methods for stimulating and managing an innovation (idea) pipeline?
It's pretty well known that some
technology companies allow employees slack time to work on new innovations and experiment with personal ideas. My company does the same, and I happen to be in charge of nurturing and selecting the innovations that will be given more resources and evolved into successful long-term products.
This all works fine. However, I have one big issue: I have way too many good ideas in the pipeline and no rubric to decide which ones to approve and which ones to kill. In the past I have just decided which ones were worth pursuing. To me, some ideas are obviously promising, and others come with business and project plans attached. This is my 'gut' response. But, I still feel uneasy saying, 'hey, this idea is good because I say so.' Plus, I fear that this approach won't be scalable. Or worse, I feel I'll eventually turn off the creative flow from inventors whose ideas have been killed too many times.
Since this seems like a relatively common approach these days, are there any good writings on this subject? HBR, perhaps? I'm looking for a general framework that I can use to manage an innovation pipeline.