|Page A. Thibault, MBA|
Many ideas are born and lost in isolation. Think of ideas you have had that were never developed or implemented due to poor communication, lack of buy-in or just plain ineffective execution. An employee idea system is not a put into place and leave it type of program. You must actively manage and control your organization’s platform to harness your employee ideas and to execute those ideas effectively. Productivity is not just about how efficiently we work – but depends on our ability to make an impact on what matters most.
An employee idea is the spark of imagination that represents only one percent of the idea’s potential and passage. The other 99 percent is the process needed to develop the capacity for employee ideas to develop. Without a process for employee ideas, then each idea is handled on an ad hoc basis. When ideas are handled ad hoc, there are many distractions that can derail our ideas. For example: deadlines, budgets, clients and a myriad of other constraints. Therefore, we need structure to capture and arrange ideas in a way that allows them to build upon one another in a helpful manner.
Structure allows us to agree on how to respond to and implement ideas consistently – which in turn results in less confusion for your organization. Many employee ideas have a cross-functional component, as well as differing levels of organizational responsibility; therefore, having structure in place simplifies implementation that may otherwise be complex and unwieldy. Collaboration is the binding force that brings several small sparks together to drive innovation and allows you to successfully adapt to the continual changes that occur in and around your organization. Teamwork and collaboration thrive in environments where tasks and methods are clearly defined. In today’s competitive environment it is no longer enough to simply be more efficient or cheaper than your competition – you must transform your ideas into a unique differentiator that outperforms your competition!
Idea Share of the Month!
When designing your employee idea system, you must take into account your organization’s unique culture! A cookie cutter idea system that layers on top of existing management and lacks in scope and depth will most likely fail resulting in a more disengaged workforce.
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