09 November 2013

In the world of idea management, innovation, employee suggestions, or if you want to call it Continuous Improvement, management can make or break the success of a program. It is very often that we hear about programs that got started with a BANG and ended with a bust.

Any system, program or process that an organization wants to adopt, needs to be adjusted to its business processes in order to achieve sustainability. If it’s not, it will be sidelined and ignored by the organization. The main reason… it will create extra work which may not be viewed as value added to organization goals.

The reality is that innovation, cost cutting, and continuous improvement activities are critical to remaining competitive, and therefore the ‘extra’ work required to run one is necessary. These activities have to be viewed by an organization as being as important as other business-critical functions in order to succeed.

It is imperative, for that matter, that upper management take active part in the development, implementation, and running of a suggestion system. A suggestion system, if implemented correctly, must be woven into the corporate culture. Management must ensure procedures are compatible with organizational goals, and they must hold stake holders accountable for the success of the program.

Perhaps the five most important tasks that management must perform to make a suggestion program successful are:

1) Encourage and support participation in the continuous improvement and innovation process.
2) Prioritize idea implementation.
3) Encourage innovation and creative thinking.
4) Recognize the good ideas through rewards or congratulatory activities.
5) Allocate the resources needed for investing in ideas and rewards.

Management MUST manage and facilitate the resources and time necessary for their team to properly engage in the process. Managers know that one of the most dangerous things regarding a suggestion system is the effect it can have on employee moral if it is allowed to disappoint on high expectations. Not managing a suggestion system can degrade the products and services the organization is providing to the market thus undermining its competitiveness and profitability.

Posted on Saturday, November 09, 2013 by George R.


06 November 2013

Sometimes the greatest problem interfering with innovation is the negative mindset of the individuals who are involved in the discussion. This video, which I found on You-Tube, is not only funny, but portrays a sad fact concerning how great ideas can be lost in an organization when the focus is placed on the negative aspects of an idea.

Dr. DeBono’s “Six Thinking Hats” for brainstorming are a great approach for innovating, and of these six none is more important than the yellow one – representing Positivism.

Yes, all ideas, especially in their infancy, will have drawbacks and flaws. The differentiator between organizations which excel as innovators is how they work to smooth the flaws and mature the ideas

My personal recommendation, when engaging in the ideation process and the development of an idea, especially when using idea management software, is that a core requirement of collaborating require that for every flawed aspect of an idea that is pointed out, a positive one is too. The positive one can address a separate aspect of the idea, or perhaps propose a way of mitigating the identified flaw. This helps keep the balance equal or in favor of the positive aspects, but also opens the opportunity to constructively address the flaws.

The key to innovating is keeping the benefits of the idea always at the front of the discussion. The flaws are discussed in order to help identify positive ways to mitigate them. However, rest assured that if only the flaws are discussed the idea will crash faster than a blimp in a hurricane!

Posted on Wednesday, November 06, 2013 by George R.

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