Idea generation and innovation do not operate in a vacuum or with ideas flowing one way up to leadership. Innovation must be collaborative and open to be effective. Many companies block the very innovation they desperately need, simply because they don’t take the time to actively listen to and respond to employee ideas.
Peggy has often been on the receiving end of sarcastic comments from her manager, Keith, regarding her ideas for improvement. This makes her feel disrespected and angry. She feels her ideas are too small or insignificant to make a difference.
· When Keith asks her for her ideas, Peggy does not feel her ideas are taken seriously. She thinks to herself, “Why ask for my ideas if you are not going to use them – or even consider them." Peggy then stops giving in her ideas. Nothing she says or does is going to make a difference. Peggy is clearly frustrated by the lack of follow-up.
· “Did you hear the idea Peggy had to … That is a bad idea!” We’ve all witnessed this attitude from our co-workers! However, the key is to look deeper into the problem that Peggy was trying to solve. She risked coming forward with her idea for a reason – and doesn’t want to feel belittled for it. Chances are one of Peggy’s co-workers has the solution to her problem, even if Peggy doesn’t. If the idea is unable to be used, it is important for Keith to share with Peggy why the idea is not able to be implemented.
It is a well-known fact in Peggy’s department, that if Keith accepts an idea, it will become the job of the idea originator - rather than a team effort. Peggy has lots of ideas on how to make things in her department more efficient, but she knows Keith will not provide the needed level of support and resources. So she stifles her ideas as she is already stretched to her limit.
Peggy has become fearful of giving in ideas due to significant misalignments on how ideas are handled in her company. Create a win-win for your company by providing the proper training (tools and methods) for all levels of staff to understand how to generate, capture, respond to and implement those valuable ideas that generate future value for your company. A professional idea management company, such as Frame of Mind Consulting can assist you in identifying those misalignments that prevent ideas from flourishing in your company. Give Page a call today at (860) 559-7942.
Idea Share Tip of the Month!
An ineffective employee idea system or a lack of employee ideas is a sign of deeper issues within your company culture. If management does not support employee ideas, and secretly sabotages employees’ efforts, you must push them out of the company – no matter how good they are at their jobs.
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