Top 10 Internet Links of the Week 16th March 2012

Top 10 Internet links of the week


Happy Friday everyone! Here are my top 10 links of the week, hope you enjoy them. As always, I will be sharing the Twitter accounts so you are able to follow them.

  1. Critical intervention points of innovation peer-to-peer engagement – Another great post on Paul4innovating’s blog looking at engagement and peer to peer review of ideas. Well worth a visit (Twitter – @paul4innovating)
  2. Have a great idea? How to tell your boss – A good article from last year on CNN about ideas programmes. The really interesting thing though is at the bottom of the page when you look at the comments. How do you think we can overcome these negative responses in our innovation programme (Twitter – @CNN)
  3. Etiquette Guide for “Idea People” – One of the most popular questions we get asked is how can we improve the quality of the idea at the point of submission, although this article is a year old, the information it gives is still very relevant today. I would recommend any ideas manager to take two minutes of their day to read it! (Twitter – @leadchangegroup)
  4. Innovation’s Collaboration Curves and Performance – Another very good article from the Andrea Mayer at Innovation Excellence about making innovation happen within organisations.A very good piece on collaboration and sharing ideas.. (Twitter – @ixchat)
  5. How to get rid of old ideas -Have you participated in a brainstorming session that felt like wasted time? For some reason no new and interesting ideas were formed? Perhaps you need to get rid of your old ideas first! (Twitter – @karin_wall)
  6. Thoughts on how we collaborate to surface the very best ideas – I love this blog, I visit it a couple of time a week and always come away with a smile on my face. Anyway, this post looks at crowd sourcing and how to ensure the best ideas come to the surface and how to action them. (Twitter – @CogniStreamer)
  7. Front Line Employees Hold the Key to Long Term Growth – A very good blog post that looks at how an engaged workforce and be the key to increased customer satisfaction. It is amazing in this day and age how many organisations still don’t make the link between happy employees and happy customers. (Twitter –@vgalovski)
  8. Why IT says no to innovation –  I Was at an organisation recently who told me they opened up an employee innovation programme, but the only ideas they had were about IT and changing systems. This is not unusual in  my experience and this post explains why sometimes the IT function says NO to innovation. – (Twitter – @ovoinnovation)
  9. What is Engagement, Really? – This caught my eye as I am asked by people to explain just what is employee engagement  Not only does this post explain what it is, it also explains the benefits of an engaged workforce .(Twitter –@_brandoncurry)
  10. Something fun for you to look at from the guys over at The Employable They have recently made a list of the Top 10 funniest job titles take a look here. The strange thing is I am sure I have seen these in real life!

Well that is my top 10 links for the week, hope you all looking forward to the weekend? For me it is a weekend of family and the RBS 6-Nations!



What does Suggestion Scheme Management Involve?

Do not expect the CEO or senior executives to seek reports. You have been tasked with running the suggestion/recognition programme therefore you must take full responsibility for that.

You have the opportunity to become an expert within your organisation by identifying areas where improvement is needed and who is best placed to implement this improvement. You have the opportunity to be closely involved in assisting with the delivery of your organisations business plan. You have the opportunity to be a key player and you should ensure that your management realise this. You must be proactive.

  • Understand the wider issues facing your business and ensure that the suggestion programme is aligned to address these issues
  • Have an awareness of best practice. Find out what others both within your sector and outside are doing and develop your plans
  • Ensure that your own knowledge and expertise is up to date
  • Network and benchmark with others
  • Ensure that you can give examples of what others are doing and achieving and what you are doing to maintain competitiveness
  • Be aware of initiatives being used within your business and how the suggestion programme will work with them to deliver improved business results
  • If you want to compete with others for top management attention be aware of what keeps them up at night.

What you must do


  • Can you change/enhance anything about your programme to make it more appealing or beneficial?
  • Think of it as a product – can you repackage/resize or discover new uses, involve more people, enhance outcomes?


  • You must have a vision. Recognise opportunities or demand in specific areas of the business. Should you continually focus on areas where support is strong and abandon others? Could you take advantage of marketing opportunities within the organisation by joining with other business area or activities?
  • What resources or training will be needed to ensure your team is up to speed? Outline your vision in your business plan. Break down longer-term goals into specific numerical targets and short term aims. Keep your goals challenging and SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time related)

Look outside

  • Make it your business to know what is happening outside of your organisation, both in relation to suggestion scheme processes and relating to the business.
  • Know your business environment. If you are aware of imminent change you may be able to turn a threat into an opportunity.
  • Identify the people you respect as experts in your field and find opportunities to talk with them. Investigate opportunities for benchmarking.
  • Be aware of what businesses your management respect, admire or wish to emulate and find out their best practices in relation to employee involvement

Look inside

  • Communicate regularly with all employees within the organisation. Seek feedback both formally and informally.
  • Make use of internal benchmarking and consider any ideas used elsewhere in the business that you could usefully take on board e.g. marketing expertise
  • Encourage experiments and be prepared to take risks in order to maximise the impact your scheme can have within the organisation

Improve processes

  • Analyse the impact of your processes on your stakeholders. Consider what could be done more efficiently. What could be done to increase customer/stakeholder satisfaction?
  • Consider how cost effective improvements could be made. Do you have FAQ’s (and answers) either on intranet or hard copy?
  • Involve own team or work colleagues to help develop and implement changes. Utilise cross-functional teams

Encourage innovation

  • Encourage managers to lead innovation and actively encourage ideas by running workshops, discussion groups or cross-functional teams. Consider using an experienced outside facilitator to run the sessions.
  • Lead people away from thinking innovation must mean radical big bang changes. A lot of small changes can add up to a big change for the better and usually with far less risk
  • Show that the pursuit of innovation is seen as a continuing process. Innovation does not just happen in workshops. Experience has shown that the 48 hours after a workshop has ended can be a very productive period. Make sure that ideas that surface during this period are captured by the suggestion scheme.
  • Ensure your business goals and outcomes are regularly reported in team meetings
  • Build long term goals into your business plan. Set and review targets and milestones. Track key performance indicators (participation, implementation and ROI) to monitor progress

Overcoming Obstacles

  • Recognise that day to day tasks are always going to be seen as more important than the suggestion scheme
  • Combat insecurity and resistance to change through better communication
  • Gain recognition and acceptance for the need to change by discussing the consequences of not taking action
  • Continually raise the profile of innovation and the importance of the suggestion scheme
  • Actively encourage the involvement of all employees at all stages

And finally

Provide regular reports to top management on all aspects of suggestion scheme performance emphasising benefits to business and consequently the importance of the part you play.


The Benefits of a Suggestion Scheme and How to Start

Part 1

A lot of the time, we are asked, what are the main considerations of setting up an ideas programme? What should be considered and what are the benefits? This two part post will give you some pointers.

The Importance of Involving Employees

People, both in teams and as individuals, always have been and always will be the source of creativity, innovation and improvement. The harnessing of this talent is crucial to the success and growth of any organisation. Increased competition and demand for improved customer service means that managers have to consider how they meet increasing demands without increasing costs. They have to utilise existing resources fully. There is therefore a need to proactively encourage employees to generate ideas for innovation and improvement.

Advantages of Involving Employees Continue reading

Idea of the Year Competition 2012

Seen by many organisations as THE employee suggestions competition worldwide, it is time once again to submit your ideas to the ideasUK Idea of the Year Competition.

Adrian Robbins
Idea of the Year Winner

The awards are changing slightly this year. We have refined the categories for 2012 to make them more relevant for organisations. The new categories and descriptions can be found below.


Awarded in recognition of the suggestion that demonstrates the greatest contribution to the conservation of natural resources, protecting the natural environment or sustainable project. Also ideas that benefit the community outside the business.

Health and Safety

Awarded in recognition of the suggestion that demonstrates the greatest contribution to the improvement in health and safety of products, services or the workplace.

Customer Focus

Awarded in recognition of the suggestion that demonstrates the greatest positive impact to the customer or an idea which has been developed which puts the customer first.

Continuous Improvement

Awarded in the recognition of ideas which raises the general awareness and importance of continuous improvement within the organisation and improves the way in which work is planned and implemented.

Value for Money

Awarded in recognition of the suggestion that demonstrates the greatest cost savings, cost avoidance or income generation.

Global Award

Awarded in recognition of the suggestion that demonstrated the greatest global impact for an organisation.

Innovation Award

Awarded in recognition of the suggestion which demonstrates the best in original thinking to achieve improvement. As well as truly innovative ideas, this can also include the application of existing ideas or procedures in an entirely new context.

Idea of the Year

The idea considered to be the best of all shortlisted entries.

There is no entry fee. A condition of entry is that shortlisted finalists are required to attend our conference on 8th & 9th November 2012, and finalist’s organisations are required to provide a display giving details of the idea at the Annual Conference.

All entries will be assessed by an independent panel of judges who will shortlist between 20-30 ideas and the suggestors will have an opportunity at the conference to discuss their idea with the judges during an informal session of no more than fifteen minutes.

The closing date for entries is 30th April 2012 and ideasUK members can find the entry form in the member’s area of our website.

Non members are more than welcome to contact us at to see how you can be involved in this year’s competition.

Why YOU should join ideasUK today!

IdeasUK is a membership organisation that is run by its members for its members. We are the only non-profit organisation in the United Kingdom that is dedicated to Ideas Management and Employee Engagement.

It is our firm belief that in these challenging times, quality ideas can significantly help a business become leaner, as well as helping the front line staff make a real difference to the overall objectives of the organisation. Our 2011 Annual Survey highlighted the following benefits amongst our membership. Continue reading

Innovation is in the blood by Andy Beddows

ideasUK Roll of Honour (opens pdf doc)

Anyone who has had contact with the world of innovation in recent years will be all too familiar with the well known beacons of innovation; Wind-up radio, Dyson and Post-Its to name but a few, which are but the tip of a very big iceberg. Let’s face it, if there is one thing we, the human race, are good at its innovation. But what goes on ‘below the water line’, below the whiz bang inventions? Where can you find a perfect cross section of innovation at a day to day level across private and public sectors in, say, the UK?

Well, recently I had the task of updating the ideasUK Roll of Honour and rather than just adding the latest award winners to the list I took a wider look at the whole document. Continue reading

ideasUK Conference 2011 – Workshop Speaker – Matthew Hall, Welsh Government

Now we have introduced all the Keynote Speakers for the Conference, we are moving on to the Workshop presenters. This week meet Matthew Hall who works for the Welsh Government:

Matthew Hall - Investing in InnovationRe:New – Investing in Innovation

Matthew leads a suite of projects within the Welsh Government to develop greater innovation amongst its 5,000 civil service staff. This work is at the heart of the organisation’s response to shrinking budgets and the need to look for new ways to deliver.

Working with the Permanent Secretary, the Director-Generals and staff at all levels, Matthew’s portfolio has included both bottom-up and top-down approaches to innovation, with the intention to deliver a more congenial culture for creative action in a work environment not normally associated with such an approach.

An introduction to “Re-New”, the Welsh Government’s staff suggestion scheme.

The presentation will detail the development journey to date and will cover the approach to date and will cover the approach taken to generating ideas, how the best are selected and supported as well as an outline of the approach taken to measure the impact of innovative ideas received through the scheme.

ideasUK conference brochures can be found at the links below.

ideasUK Conference 2011 Brochure

Conference Masterclass Information and Booking Form

Conference 2011 Booking Form

Conference 2011 Booking Information

So what are you waiting for? Get your booking form back to us today, we look forward to seeing you in Cardiff in November.

Webinar – Where do good ideas come from?

This webinar was first shown to members of the employee engagement community at the EIA conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

During this webinar, Larry Truax, the ideas administrator for Grote Industries covers the importance of employees in the ideas process, using Six Sigma tools and Lean Concepts to measure performance, which then leads on to the Performance Pyramid. Continue reading

The Real Recipe for Innovation

Today’s guest post is written by Holly Green

When I talk to business leaders, I always ask about the most difficult challenges they face day in and day out. Increasingly, I’m hearing about how hard it is to innovate on a consistent basis.

This anecdotal evidence is now being supported by a recent McKinsey Global Survey that polled more than 2,200 senior executives around the globe on the challenges of managing innovation.

Eighty-four percent of the executives who responded said they consider innovation to be very or extremely important to their companies’ growth strategies. Yet, despite their emphasis on the importance of innovation, many of those executives feel that their companies are not doing a good job on following through on innovation as a strategic imperative. Continue reading