From notebook to noteworthy: setting up an ideas program from scratch with impact. 

How Taylor & Francis is fostering ideas,  toppling knowledge silos and strengthening engagement—one employee idea at a time.




Use Case

Employee Engagement


Microsoft Teams


Setting up an ideas program from scratch to improve business efficiency

AT A GLANCE in year 1






employees engaged


Giving every employee a voice

Taylor & Francis put together a special project team to quickly launch an enhanced eBook. The project was a resounding success. It was also one of several ideas and projects that revealed a big opportunity—the need for a new business unit dedicated to unearthing great ideas and promoting diversity of thought at every level across the company. At the time, many internal departments had no idea generation framework in place—or relied on notepads and spreadsheets to gather new insights. Taylor & Francis needed a simple, streamlined way to empower its global workforce and to give each valuable team member a voice.

Its goal became clear: to find a seamlessly integrated way to gather employee ideas, drive meaningful engagement, and encourage the kind of collaboration and innovation that drives business advancement from the bottom-up.

We have so many great initiatives and priorities that come from the top down. But we were missing that feedback and insight from junior colleagues, new employees, middle management, and everyone in between who talk to our customers on a daily basis

white background headshot (2) Michelle Rivera Spann, Vice President of Business Advancement Taylor & Francis


Fostering ideas with a team and a tool

Taylor & Francis’ first step towards strengthening employee engagement was to create an internal role dedicated to finding and launching great employee ideas. This new position would be responsible for launching the new idea generation framework, championing the program, and overseeing idea implementation.

Once the company had a new Vice President of Business Advancement in position, it was time to find an easy-to-integrate idea management platform with responsive and proactive support. Sideways 6 checked these key boxes, and several more.

Just three months after demoing Sideways 6, Taylor & Francis launched its first campaign, and generated an incredible 204 unique ideas in just one year.

This is the fastest we’ve ever launched something in the business. Everyone was really, really surprised. We launched in May, after demoing Sideways 6 in March.

white background headshot (2) Michelle Rivera Spann, Vice President of Business Advancement Taylor & Francis


Support that scales

Taylor & Francis compared multiple idea generation platforms before discovering Sideways 6. And while other idea tools also integrated with Microsoft Teams, Sideways 6’s native Teams app—complete with built-in notifications, messaging features, and a chatbot—made it the clear first choice.

Though Taylor & Francis had no prior idea fostering program in place or experienced idea-leaders on team, Sideways 6’s responsive team guided the company throughout every step of the process.

From simple onboarding and platform development, to ongoing and on-demand campaign support, Sideways 6’s collaborative approach made it easy for Taylor & Francis to bring its vision to life—and give every employee the opportunity to engage and share.

Sideways 6 software, in combination with its training, advice, and active guidance, has provided us for the first time with a way to dynamically surface and manage ideas from colleagues at all levels around the world.

Jeremy 02 Jeremy North - Managing Director of Advanced Learning Taylor & Francis


Sparking engagement with ‘Ignite’

In the weeks leading up to the launch of its Teams-based idea-capturing initiative, Taylor & Francis posed a division-wide question: “What should we call our idea generation program?”

125 names and 250 votes later, ‘Ignite’ was the frontrunner. And Taylor & Francis achieved nearly 40% divisional engagement before the program even launched.

To further expand awareness and support for the initiative, the VP of Business Advancement took Ignite on the road—demonstrating the powerful tool in company meetings, internal communications, and webinars with leaders from multiple teams and departments.


Ignite - 1 Year Anniversary

I feel like Ignite has gotten more colleagues talking and interacting outside of their respective teams, while moving towards unified goals and shared interests.

Tracie McDaniel (2) Tracie McDaniel - Junior Account Manager Taylor & Francis


Creating a culture of collaboration

In year one of Ignite, the program was primarily available to Taylor & Francis’ Advance Learning division employees. And in just 12 months, the Ignite team gathered 204 unique ideas, implemented 24 ideas, and saw 64% engagement—exceeding company expectations and empowering employees around the world.

Ignite has been so well received in Advance Learning that additional divisions at Taylor & Francis have begun using the program. With Ignite now available to 2,500 global employees, the team has an even more ambitious goal: To drive 40% engagement company-wide, bring more ideas to life, and topple every knowledge silo in sight.

From no feedback framework to over 200 employee-generated ideas, Taylor & Francis is tapping into the power of employee perspectives—and driving business advancement at every level.

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The Taylor & Francis Story