Thursday, August 27, 2009


In earlier posts I did mention the importance of using your own employees as a valuable source of new ideas. They can for instance come up with ideas for new offerings based upon changed customer needs, and also ideas how to speed up internal processes.

How can you stimulate ideas?
1. In order to create an environment where ideas will flourish, the management needs to build and gain trust..
2. They will only bring their ideas forward when they have the feeling and the experience that their ideas are taken seriously.
3. Never ‘punish ‘people for their ideas, even if they are not appropriate.
4. Give credit for ideas. The most important form of credit is verbal recognition of the valuable contribution.
5. Give support to get the ideas implemented. Support can be sponsorship and/or money and/or resources.
6. Do not force people to give more ideas. If the environment is positive and enthusiastic, people will automatically come up with ideas.
7. Always give feedback.
8. Be honest.
9. Control kills every initiative, so promote coaching.
10. Be vulnerable and let them know that you don’t have all the answers and that you need every set of eyes and ears in the company.
11. Give people access to blogs, video’s, social media.
12. Regularly invite speakers about a wide variety of subjects ( e.g. from gardening, to painting, to anthropology).
13. Let people attend seminars, network meetings, community gatherings.
14. Create spaces where people can brainstorm with each other.

These are just a basic set of conditions that need to be established. The investment is rather low, but the benefit can be substantial!

What are you doing to stimulate ideas?


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