The Idea Driven Organization
Turn your company into a profitable, idea-generating machine.
Profits have always been the number one driving force behind almost every enterprise.
A ruthless corporate shark or an organizational mastermind? Choose your pick. Your answer should be none of the above!
The ability to come up with awesome ideas is the real key here. The companies that know how to come up with great ideas are the ones that bring home the bacon.
But hey, do not beat yourself up—it is definitely easier said than done. So, let these blinks show you just how to unlock the creativity in your company and change not only thoroughly but amazingly as you keep your competitors far behind.
- Why clothing producer Zara is more nimble than Italian fashion houses
- Why drilling holes into the floor of a bar increased profits and employee satisfaction
- Why a 26-minute break for Swedish truck builders makes them more productive
Executives don’t have all the answers. Look to front-line employees for ideas and potential solutions.
Usually, managers and executives are under the impression that being on the top of the company chain, they see a clear overview of what the company needs to thrive.
This is absolutely mistaken.
When there are customer conflicts, frustrations, and wishes on a daily basis, customer service front liners would face it. However, managers only rely on market research and focus groups, which is no substitute for daily customer interaction.
Real-life insights into customer satisfaction make a great impact and Clarion-Stockholm, a four-star hotel, understood this when its employees are enlisted to start developing new ideas based on customer needs.
As you implement small things in hopes to make customers happy, you are creating some snowball effects.
Happy customers are more likely to spend money when the customer service is worth it and they will likely do you a word-of-mouth favor. And this is a good sign of productivity.
At the Clarion-Stockholm, the hotel bar staff would have to empty bottle bins every hour during busy periods. Doing such tedious and dirty task at a busy period, their time with the customers were lessen.
A clever pioneering solution was then formulated. Drilling holes in the bar floor installing tubes that led directly into recycling bins in the basement. Bar staff could then just throw the bottles down the holes and not miss the bar.
More time to please customers, your own people are happy, and sales go up.
A great manager must be humble. She also needs to listen to her staff to seek out great ideas.
Employee-generated ideas is your greatest shot of satisfying customers. However, still many companies fail in this respect?
This is a call for some traditional managerial behaviors.
What usually happens is when a manager goes up, they often lose respect for those under him. In fact, scientists at Stanford University found that many managers believe that they are somehow superior to employees below their stand at the food chain, which is a natural byproduct of a traditional organizational perking order.
And because managers work in private office, get higher paycheck, and wears expensive suits, they are constantly viewed as ‘better’ that their people—a detrimental to an idea-driven institution.
So, why don’t execute disparate managerial culture invigorating ideas from the lowest up?
Hiring or promote a manager, must be governed by these two crucial personal attributes:
Humility. You want a humble manager who would not view herself better than her people.
Good Listener. A person who always considers his people’s opinions in his seek for amazing ideas.
Make sure this manager engages in all that happens on the front lines, just like one of Toyota’s core managerial concepts: “going to the gemba.” Gemba is an actual Japanese place where the real work is done. And all of the Toyota’s managers and employees operate under the expectations that all the relevant work in the company happens at the gemba, so they focus on running tasks in gemba more efficiently.