- Communicate the business strategy - I think it's ok for some ideas to be totally "green" and separate from strategy, but most corporations invest a lot of time, money, and expertise into developing a strategy. Ideas that support the business strategy already have the basis for investment so encourage the team to think "on strategy".
- Define the idea - Good ideas should have some structure especially if you're successful in getting the organization to propose many ideas. By defining a structure, it gives a mechanism to compare ideas. It's also a good mechanism for encouraging staffers to collaborate on ideas especially if multiple skills are required to define them.
- Encourage (require) collaboration - Brute force is ok here, as in "Ideas must be presented by a team of three or more from the following departments. The best ideas no longer come from department silos.
- Require transparency - This is where tools help, but they don't necessarily require specialized ones. Define an idea as a structured wiki page, a Google form, a Quickbase App, etc.
- Accept big and small ideas - It's too easy to focus a process on the big ideas, but small ideas implemented efficiently can also have significant impact.
- Define a process - Staffers should know when and how ideas are evaluated and staged through a process. Good ideas should be relatively easy to define before they go through a first stage of vetting. Small ideas (see point above) need a fast efficient process. Staffers should know the follow up stages for getting funding on larger scale ideas.
Special thanks to @robstoltz for suggesting this post!