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Big Ideas T Nelson Pres Big Ideas T Nelson Pres Presentation Transcript

  • In an INNOVATIVE ENVIRONMENT Presented by Terri Nelson 12/2/08 for Big Ideas Group
    • An effective idea process has eight key characteristics
    • Ideas are encouraged and welcomed. The best way to encourage ideas is to be responsive to them. The challenge in the beginning is to get employees to believe managers truly want their ideas.
    • Submitting ideas is simple. Many processes are geared for the biggest and most complex ideas that might come along. An efficient process targets small ideas and treats the bigger proposals as exceptions.
    • Evaluation of ideas is quick and effective. Pushing decision making down to the front lines for as many ideas as possible leads to better decisions, faster implementation, and lower processing costs, and frees up managers' time.
    • Feedback is timely, constructive, and informative. This keeps employees engaged in the process, demonstrates that their ideas are taken seriously, and promotes learning. If the idea was rejected or misunderstood, feedback allows people to find ways to improve it or to communicate it better.
    • Implementation is rapid and smooth. Quick implementation results in more ideas and faster realization of their benefits. To handle large numbers of small ideas efficiently, an organization has to provide resources that can be easily tapped by front-line employees.
    • Ideas are reviewed for additional potential. The power of an idea system increases exponentially with the ability to spot the larger issues that small ideas point to. Instead of nibbling away at problems, the organization can now systematically address their root causes.
    • People are recognized, and success is celebrated. The most effective form of recognition for ideas is to implement them rapidly and to give credit to the employees involved.
    • Idea system performance is measured, reviewed, and improved.
    • Guerrilla Tactics
    • Five actions you can take today (without the boss's permission)
    • Give extra attention to that first idea. When someone steps forward with his or her first idea, treat it with extra care. If the idea cannot be immediately implemented, explain why, or work with that person to overcome its limitations.
    • Make a personal commitment. What personal commitment can you make that will send a message to your employees that you will take their ideas seriously? Can you commit to a rapid response? Do not make a commitment that you cannot keep.
    • Help people with their ideas. When employees come to you with ideas that need some work to develop, help them to get the information or assistance they require. Build a network of people and resources in your organization that you and your employees can tap for help in this regard.
    • Pass it along. If a good idea pops up in your department that could also be used elsewhere, pass it along to the appropriate people. Conversely, look for good ideas elsewhere in your organization that you can bring back to your department.
    • Don't be stymied by bottlenecks in implementation. If your group is short of resources or skills to implement ideas in a particular area, look for creative solutions to the problem. Call in retirees on a temporary basis, recruit outside vendors, or offer your own people overtime. Do you have any assets you can redeploy or swap? Perhaps you can trade some of your people's time and skills to another department in return for the specialized skills you need.
    • To create an environment that encourages ideas;
    • To help employees develop their knowledge and improve their problem solving skills, in order to increase the quality and impact of their ideas; and
    • To champion ideas and look for possible larger implications in them.
    • Guerrilla Tactics
    • Five actions you can take today (without the boss's permission)
    • Make ideas a priority for everyone. Make consideration and discussion of ideas the first item in your regular department meetings. Incorporate ideas into the annual performance review process. Assess how well each person does at coming up with or encouraging ideas. Talk about how he or she might improve, and identify training and development opportunities.
    • Publicize results. Track the number of ideas people are submitting. For supervisors and managers, track the number of ideas they are getting. Post the results.
    • Address bottlenecks. If it takes too long to process ideas, find out why. Are people sitting on ideas for good reasons? Is the problem caused by a misalignment? Ask people about unintended consequences of policies or practices that are getting in the way of dealing with ideas.
    • Exploit learning opportunities. When someone suggests a bad idea, treat it as a learning opportunity. Why did that person think it made sense? What information, knowledge, or training do you need to provide to that person?
    • Recruit your boss. Life will be a lot easier if your boss is supportive. Start a campaign to regularly bring great ideas to his or her attention. It may require subtlety, but when constantly confronted with ideas that your people have offered and that have helped achieve goals and have improved performance, he or she should eventually come around.
    • While every organization should design its process according to its unique needs, certain characteristics are common to all high-performing idea systems:
    • Ideas are encouraged and welcomed.
    • Submitting ideas is simple.
    • Evaluation of ideas is quick and effective.
    • Feedback is timely, constructive, and informative.
    • Implementation is rapid and smooth.
    • Ideas are reviewed for additional potential.
    • People are recognized, and success is celebrated.
    • Idea system performance is measured, reviewed, and improved.
    • Guerrilla Tactics
    • Five actions you can take today (without the boss's permission)
    • Select your targets. Look for areas where employee ideas can help improve performance. To do this, think about the following:
      • The major problems or opportunities facing your group
      • The aspects of performance that have the greatest impact on the organization's overall performance
      • The non-value-adding things that your group does
      • Which key corporate goals and values, when translated into your area, might yield appropriate targets for ideas
    • Once you have come up with an appropriate topic, ask your people for ideas related to it.
    • Focus on your customers. Which aspects of your group's work are most important to your internal and external customers? What are they complaining about? What changes would they like you to make? Would they appreciate faster response time? Have your people talk to customers directly. Discuss what they find out, and develop appropriate themes for ideas from it.
    • Poll your people. Ask your employees where they think improvements are most needed. Get them involved in identifying appropriate areas to target that they can attack with their ideas.
    • Use metrics. Identify your group's key performance metrics, post performance statistics on them for everyone to see, and keep them up-to-date. Set targets, and review them regularly at group meetings.
    • Look for ideas that reinforce core values. What are the values you want to instill in your group? Teamwork? Responsiveness? Seamless integration? Exceptional service? Uncompromising quality? Find creative ways to focus ideas on topics that reinforce these values.
    • Guerrilla Tactics
    • Five actions you can take today (without the boss's permission)
    • Train, train, train. Identify the key leverage points of performance for your group, and develop idea activator modules for them. They don't have to be long; sometimes fifteen minutes is all that is needed. Stay alert for possible activators as you read business books and magazines, interact with colleagues, and look over mailers from training companies.
    • Get out of the office. Attend trade shows, workshops, and conferences. Take advantage of opportunities to visit other companies, including ones that do very different types of work. Bring some of your people along whenever possible.
    • Record exceptions. Ask your people to record any exceptions they see. From time to time, probe these exceptions with your group to see whether they suggest any improvement opportunities.
    • Rotate your people. Rotate your employees into different assignments, so they see as much of the organization as possible. Approach your internal customers and suppliers, and ask whether they would be interested in trading people for short periods of time. The resulting alliances, and the exposure your people get to new perspectives and knowledge, will lead to more and better ideas.
    • Encourage diverse perspectives. Ask people who you think might have a different perspective on your department's work for their thoughts on how it might be improved. New hires, temporary workers, people who work odd shifts, recent transfers, and internal customers are all potential sources of fresh perspectives.
    • When people are constantly beaten down and reminded on a daily basis that they aren't supposed to think, sooner or later they stop showing any initiative. Conversely, when employees' ideas are encouraged and used, their energy, commitment, and initiative increase.
    • OLC Innovative Environments Conference, Nov.5-6, 2008
    • http://www.olc.org/InnovativeEnvironments08Conferences.asp
    • Ideas are Free, Robinson, Alan
    • 10 Rules For Strategic Innovators, Trimball, Chris
    • Art of Innovation, Kelley, Tom
    • Circle of Innovation, Peters, Tom
    • Remember, ideas are free, and they have the power to liberate your people and transform your organization.
    • http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/9781576753743
    • http://oulibrariesinnovate.blogspot.com/
    • http://staff.library.ohiou.edu/wiki/index.php/Innovation_Training
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