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
Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.
Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.
Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."
The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.
Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.
The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".
Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".
Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".
Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."
Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.
"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."
The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.
"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.
Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.
Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....
...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...