Ideas Are Free - A Book Summary
Without great ideas, no organization can stay afloat, much less flourish. Managers and top executives are constantly struggling to come up with big ones - creative marketing strategies, ingenious cost-cutting schemes and other corporate solutions that will save time and money and improve productivity. But what few of them realize is that right under their noses is a virtually limitless source of valuable ideas - ideas that can revolutionize their company and help bring substantial and sustainable competitive advantage. These great ideas come, surprisingly, from the lowest point of the corporate food chain - from the frontline employees who do the "dirty" work and who therefore see a lot of problems and opportunities that their managers do not.
Employee ideas are a lot more valuable than most managers think. More importantly, they can be had virtually for free, if you know how. This book teaches the most effective methods for tapping this "hidden" resource, based on extensive research in more than 300 organizations around the world. It offers precise techniques for setting up an idea management system that can empower your people, transform your organization and make you a much more effective leader.
The Idea Revolution
In traditional companies there are two distinct types of
1. The thinkers - the supervisors, managers and other
2. The doers - the frontline employees.
The rationale behind this division is that regular workers
are not capable of the kind of critical thinking needed for problem solving and strategy formulation, and therefore they should not participate in brainstorming.
The Idea Revolution invites you to break free from this old, limiting thinking pattern and to change the rules, because the truth is that although your frontline workers may indeed not have the knack for strategic planning, they do possess other, equally valuable type of knowledge - detailed, practical information about the company's daily operations, and common sense. Because they are actually where the action is, so to speak, they see a lot of things that you do not - what the customers really need, what machines are not working, what is being wasted. And often they know what to do to make things better.
The only thing you need to do is to ask and to welcome, not discourage, their ideas.
Why Employee Ideas are Important
In most organizations only the first type of knowledge is encouraged. The other kind is not only discouraged, but actually suppressed. But actually both are needed to run an efficient company. Managers and employees need to cooperate, to contribute what they know in order to come up with workable solutions and significant improvements.
Managers and supervisors can tend to generalize issues and gloss over certain details, while employees who work directly with what is causing the problem know exactly what is wrong and what should be done about it. Their knowledge of the problem is direct and intimate, and they can provide accurate solutions. They know things by experience, not by theory.
The Power of Small Ideas
Big ideas are always more attractive - they are splashier,
grander, always more promising. Managers are therefore more likely to weed out "small" ideas and go for the really big ones, the "home runs" - those that could help generate millions of dollars in revenue or topple the competition, instantly. But when it comes to ideas, small does not always mean ineffective or weak. In fact, in organizations it is often smarter to focus on small ideas rather than on big ones.
As simple as it sounds, getting and using employee ideas to improve your organization's performance entails a lot of planning, preparation and hard work. Two crucial issues that you would have to deal with are:
? How can the employees be encouraged or motivated to come up with so many ideas?
? Who has time to deal with all of them?
After all, once the ideas start pouring in, they would each have to be evaluated, and then implemented. These are non-value adding tasks that can take up all of your valuable time. The only way you can effectively manage employee ideas is by setting up a good idea system, one that will make the process, which can become messy, organized and productive.
By encouraging the free flow of ideas, you will have the opportunity to bring about a profound transformation within your organization, one that could not only boost its overall performance, but would also liberate the people who work within it.
Idea systems have the power to change the very culture of an organization, by bringing about more trust, respect, openness, commitment and harmony among its people.
When employees see that their ideas are valued, their attitudes change, from one of detachment and frustration to involvement and fulfillment. This not only uplifts the quality of their lives, but also brings about real growth in the organization.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com,
a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
"A Lot Of Great Books....Too Little Time To Read"
Free Book Summaries Of Latest Bestsellers for Busy Executives and Entrepreneurs
BusinessSummaries is a BusinessSummaries.com service.
(c) Copyright 2001- 2005, BusinessSummaries.com - Wisdom In A Nutshell
The 2018 National Book Award Winners have been announced. See them all on BookBrowse including the first winner of the new Translated Literature category.
'The two things I love most are novels and birds, and they're both in trouble,' says The Corrections author, one of the world's most famous birdwatchers, in an extensive interview in The Guardian
With less than 10 days to go until Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, independent bookstores around the country are finalizing their plans for the sixth annual Indies First celebration. Held every year on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, Indies First has grown to include more than 500 indie bookstores around the country.
Amazon confirmed Tuesday morning that it has chosen sites in New York City and Northern Virginia as the locations for its new headquarters. As previously reported, the New York City office will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. The Northern Virginia site will be in the National Landing section of Arlington, about five miles away from Crystal City, which previously had been reported as the Amazon choice in the metro Washington, D.C., area.
Stan Lee, who as chief writer and editor of Marvel Comics helped create some of the most enduring superheroes of the 20th century and was a major force behind the breakout successes of the comic-book industry in the 1960s and early '70s, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 95.
A worldwide strike by antiquarian booksellers against an Amazon subsidiary proved successful after two days, with the retailer apologizing and saying it would cancel the actions that prompted the protest.
It was a rare concerted uprising against any part of Amazon by any of its millions of suppliers, leading to an even rarer capitulation. Even the book dealers said they were surprised at the sudden reversal by AbeBooks, the company's secondhand and rare bookselling network.
The uprising, which involved nearly 600 booksellers in 27 countries removing about four million books, was set off by the retailer's decision to cut off stores in five countries: the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, South Korea and Russia. AbeBooks never explained its actions beyond saying it was related to payment processing...
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, a nationally influential literary critic for The New York Times for three decades, who wrote some 4,000 reviews and essays, mostly for the daily column Books of The Times, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 84.
Jin Yong, a literary giant of the Chinese-speaking world whose fantastical epic novels inspired countless film, television and video game adaptations and were read by generations of ethnic Chinese, died on Oct. 30 in Hong Kong. He was 94.
... For those of us lucky enough to know Todd, it was not only the adorable, customizable structures of the libraries that made him happy but it was something far bigger: community. For Todd, Little Free Libraries were places that strengthened community ties where they existed and built ties where they were absent. And he loved how comments and challenges sparked new ideas and initiatives.
Not enough Little Free Libraries in high-needs communities? Todd created the Impact Library Grants Fund. Interested in ways to engage a community? Todd formed and encouraged the use of the Action Book Club. Looking for more positive interaction between youth and law enforcement? Todd's answer was to create the Kids, Community & Cops program. Looking to create better conversations around books? Pass out Whatcha Readin' buttons. ...
Beginning today and lasting a week, more than 300 booksellers around the world are not selling titles on AbeBooks, the Amazon subsidiary that specializes in collectible and used books, to protest AbeBooks' decision to ban booksellers from several nations, including South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. The action is called Banned Booksellers Week and was begun, the New York Times said, by British bookseller Simon Beattie.