If you are a business owner or leader, or involved in engaging staff to share ideas, do you have a sense that many ideas that your employees have never see the light of day?
Do most of the ideas you get come from a very small number of people? Are those people the only ones that have ideas, or is it that their personality types simply make it easier for them to present ideas?
In reality 9/10 people DON’T offer ideas. There’s lots of reasons for this, but the main ones are;
– A lack of confidence (or time) to figure out how to write down a description of their idea
– A fear of looking dumb if other people think the idea is stupid or won’t work (the irony here is that the more radical, novel, interesting ideas are the ideas you want rather than better coffee in the machine)
– That they offered some ideas before but they were ignored, so they won’t offer anymore
Brilliant Idea #249 is an Idea Concierge service. It can work passively in that you give your staff the opportunity to contact (via email, phone or the web) an external idea expert who listens to the idea, asks the obvious questions and helps construct it into something meaningful – what the idea is, what problem it solves and what the benefits are (and hopefully some idea of how to quantify that benefit) and advice on how and who to pitch the idea to. Or, it can work pro-actively in that the Concierge reaches out to selected people – the people that the business manager knows will likely have ideas and insights of value but rarely offers them and simply asks them (it’s what business consultants do all the time).
It’s a one-off fee so very low risk for the organisation – either people use it or they don’t and it will be clear what the benefit is because the organisation will get a report of what time was spent on how many ideas.
The pay-off (apart from getting ideas that they might not have got before) is that they get fully formed ideas that can be properly assessed. So much time is wasted in meetings (generally with expensive people) trying to figure out what an idea means rather than assessing it’s value.