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How to Unlock Employee Ideas to Power Your Organization

Alan G. Robinson, Dean M. Schroeder

June 11, 2014

"After years of being asked to do more with less, managers are increasingly aware that they cannot produce the results that are expected of them with the organizations they currently have and the methods they currently use. Cutting wages and benefits, and requiring people to work harder with fewer resources can only go so far. Interestingly, the best solution to this problem involves the same people who have been bearing the brunt of the cost so far: front-line employees. Every day, these people see many problems and opportunities that their managers do not. They have plenty of ideas to improve productivity, responsiveness and customer service, for new and better products and services, or to enhance their organizations in other ways. Yet organizations generally pay little attention to soliciting these ideas, believing there is not much value in them. [...] It is time to change the way we run our organizations. Today, a growing number of organizations are becoming very good at promoting front-line ideas, and as a result are reaching extraordinary levels of performance. Rather than being directed and driven from the top, these idea-driven organizations are directed from the top but driven by ideas from the bottom. Their collective experiences allow us to ferret out what works, and what doesn't when it comes to managing front-line ideas. In this article, we provide a brief overview of the most important principles involved in creating such an organization."

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