The fact is, because they're the ones actually doing the day-to-day work front-line employees see a great many problems and opportunities that their managers don't. But most organizations do very poorly at tapping into this extraordinary potential source of revenue-enhancing, savings-generating ideas.Ideas Are Free sets out a roadmap for totally integrating ideas and idea management into the way companies are structured and operate. Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder draw on their ten years experience with more than three hundred organizations in fifteen countries to show precisely how to design a system to take advantage of this virtually free, perpetually renewing font of innovation.Robinson and Schroeder deal with two fundamental principles of managing ideas that are highly counterintuitive - the importance of going after small ideas rather than big ones, and the problems with the most common reward schemes and how to avoid them. They describe how to make ideas part of everyone's job, and how to set up and run an effective process for handling ideas-how to take a good idea system and make it great. And they show how good idea systems have a profound impact on an organization's culture. At the end of each chapter they provide "Guerrilla Tactics for the Idea Revolutionary", actions to promote ideas that any manager can take on his or her own authority, and that require little or no resources.read more
Reviews for Ideas Are Free by Alan G. Robinson, Dean M. Schroeder
In this hyper-competitive and economically uncertain world, there is a free resource for efficiency and money-saving ideas that few companies have accessed. Why not ask your employees for their suggestions to make the company better?It's not as easy as putting up suggestion boxes, and waiting for the flood of ideas. First, look at your corporate culture. If yours is the sort of company that discourages ideas from employees (workers are there to work and not think), it will take a lot of work on the part of senior management to convince employees that, this time, things are different. The actual idea submission form must be short, no more than one page. There needs to be a system in place where every idea is acknowledged and evaluated within a specific period of time (for instance, within 24 and 72 hours, respectively). If a middle manager is "sitting on" an idea, for whatever reason, senior management needs to know about it.In many cases, the immediate supervisor is most qualified to evaluate ideas. Feedback is very important, especially if the idea needs more work, or if the idea has to be rejected. Explaining the reason to the employee will keep them from getting discouraged. When an idea is approved by the right people, there is no reason for it to not be implemented sooner, rather than later (within hours or days, not at the start of the next quarter). There should be continuous checking of ideas to see if they can also be used elsewhere in the company. Managers seem to be only interested in the huge, million-dollar idea. Is there something wrong with a few thousand-dollar ideas?Setting up a system of monetary rewards for ideas is popular, but not needed. The best "compensation" for an employee is to see their idea implemented, to know that they had a hand in bettering their company. It is very easy for a company to do rewards the wrong way, increasing mistrust among employees. The authors show how to do rewards the right way.Filled with many real-life examples, this is a clear and insightful book about a surprisingly easy way to get money-saving ideas. This is applicable to all sorts of companies, big and small, and is very much recommended.read more
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