Every organization, irrespective of size, should have an idea bank. It’s the source of some of the most innovative opportunities for improvement and development. Actualized, it is a gateway by which staff can be encouraged to make recommendations for continuous improvements, new products or just about any inkling they consider important to the organization.
Don’t just solicit staffs’ ideas, manage them! By way of a well thought out system and criteria, categorize ideas; rank, value and deposit them into the organization’s idea bank.
During planning and other improvement opportunities, draw from the idea bank. As the idea is developed, revalue it. Managed well, ideas improve in value and become meaningful assets to the organization and an important opportunity for internal stakeholder inputs and recognized contributions to development.
No longer should organizations in an age of a highly creative workforce with the capacity to drive the change we need, bank on on a few in top management to be only funders of strategic focusing and development. Neither should broken systems remain broken on account of technical and frontline workers being sidelined as irrelevant to development opportunities. In fact, they probably know the process better than anyone else. To stifle or excluded them can in fact be an injustice to them as well as the organization.
Finally, and of utmost importance, reward staff for their ideas. Collaborate and conceptualize with them an incentive system, by which points can be awarded towards holiday days, bonus payments or other forms of incentives.
QUESTION? Does your organization have an idea bank? If so, what is the value of the ideas in that bank? Any idea what the prospective cashflow from those ideas may be?
Jerry DaC Blenman, Executive Director of the Caribbean Center for Organizational Excellence, is an experienced financial analyst, organizational development and change management specialist.