Guest Post – Flip-chart foraging and why its worth trying the Draw Something application


Today’s post comes from a good friend of ideasUK, if you have never visited What’s the Pont, I suggest you go over and have a look, it is a great site to visit

One of my pastimes is checking out the abandoned flipcharts I find in the variety of offices and meeting rooms I get to frequent. It’s quite a revealing pastime (possibly about me unfortunately). Occasionally you do stumble across sensitive material, obviously this goes straight in the confidential waste bin, or back into the hands of the originator. However, it’s the other material on flipcharts that fascinates me. I reckon you can get a useful insight into an organisation from the debris gets left behind on the flipcharts. The more frantic the scribbles, the more I like it.  Line & box diagrams, mind maps, dodgy graphs, stick people and bullet points all feature. Whatever form it takes it’s all a great informal record of organisational life. The real story of what’s going on from the hands of the people who know the place best.

This helpfully gives me an opportunity to talk about some recent experiences where a drawing has helped focus a discussion. Continue reading

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Guest Post – Rewards and Recognition within a Suggestion Scheme


Today’s guest post is written by Tom Dupre

Let’s begin at the end. I always advise people who are looking to start a suggestion process, or who are revitalizing/redesigning a current program, to address the topic of recognition after they have designed the other areas. Rewards should be considered within the broader context of the process and therefore deferred until the end when the broader context has been determined. That said, let us proceed to discuss the role that Rewards and Recognition (R&R) plays in employee involvement schemes and some key elements of this critical component. Continue reading

Guest Post – Off Island, IdeasUK Conference 2011


Today’s guest blog is from What’s the PONT – Bridging People and Ideas… Many thanks for an excellent article and glad you enjoyed the conference. Readers, please do visit What’s the PONT‘s blog for more interesting articles.

This week I’ve been spending some time ‘off island’ at the IdeasUK 25th annual conference.  It has been brilliant.

IdeasUK is an unusual organisation. It was set up 25 years ago as a not for profit, membership led association, for organisations interested in staff suggestion schemes. Their original focus is still hugely relevant, particularly when you link it to the experience of their Membership in: employee engagement, staff empowerment, innovation, new/improved products, better service delivery and greater efficiency / better value for money. All very high on the agenda in the current climate. Continue reading

Why Suggestion Schemes Fail


Today’s guest post is written by Robert A. Schwarz

My company has worked with suggestion schemes at hundreds of organizations. Each year many organizations start a new suggestion process, while many existing suggestion systems are abandoned.

Let’s look at some examples – kept anonymous to protect the guilty.

An insurance company had installed a suggestion scheme. It was well designed, performing very well and the person heading it up had attended training and really was interested in the task. In spite of good data that showed that the process was an effective profit center, a newly hired executive vice president with strong dislike of suggestion schemes strongly opposed the process. Although the CEO had supported the process, it was discontinued. Our reading was that there was no one on the executive staff that would challenge the new VP. Those operating the suggestion system chose silence over potential loss of a job. Continue reading

Not A New Idea – Sorry!


Today’s guest post is written by Andrew Wood

How often has that been given as a reason for not using an idea when the suggestor puts it forward? Most readers will say that it is a frequent occurrence. This short tale illustrates how futile that reasoning is and how we can really lose the benefits of good ideas by giving this reason. Continue reading

Employee Suggestion Program Musts


Today’s guest post is written by Susan M Heathfield

The pitfalls of an ill-conceived employee suggestion program are multiple, legendary and most frequently – avoidable. A carefully constructed employee suggestion program that is launched with organizational commitment, clarity and ongoing communication can positively impact your bottom line and your employee motivation and enthusiasm. An ill-conceived, hastily launched, undefined employee suggestion program can turn people off and generate ill will, cynicism and misunderstanding.

#1  Does Your Company Need an Employee Suggestion Program? 

Before launching an employee suggestion program, consider your corporate culture. Are you currently receiving fresh and thoughtful ideas? Are employee suggestions already percolating to the surface at staff meetings and in casual conversation? If so, maybe more informal methods for cultivating new ideas are warranted rather than a full-blown employee suggestion program. Continue reading

The Core Concept Rules!


Today’s guest post is written by Andy Beddows

Call me sad, call me old fashioned, but I have just been watching an old VHS video tape of ABBA. While watching it struck me how time can have different effects on components of these memories.

Yes, everyone grows older and the fashions were just … Did I really wear flairs like that? But the core music remains fresh and above all popular. So it should be no surprise that these varied effects can also be applied to the collection of ideas. As with the music the core concept, in this case employee ideas being of value to the organisation, remains as strong as ever.

What has changed is the ‘decoration’, how we collect ideas and the way we say thank you. Technology gave ABBA the opportunity to be at the forefront of the music video not initially as a new promotion tool, but just a personal desire to avoid travelling. Today we embrace all new technologies to promote and operate our suggestion schemes, a continuation of those pioneering technological advances of the seventies, eighties and nineties. 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