Managing Employees’ Ideas: From Where do Ideas Come?

Journal for Quality and Participation vol. 26 issue 2 - June 2003

Abstract: Ideas within an organization are typically generated in one of four ways: exclusively from the senior team, from managers and the R&D department, from anyone in the company through an informal method, or from anyone in the company through a formal structure. A systematic approach such as the latter is critical to creating a successful program for generating, evaluating, and implementing suggestions. Such an approach, however, is infrequently used despite its importance as an element of an innovative organization. Any effective idea-generation system must be clear, straightforward, and open to all potential participants, including both teams and individuals. Key reasons why idea-generation programs often fail include: lack of publicity about the program, the submission process is too complex, lack of support from management, lack of assistance in helping employees realize that they have valuable ideas, slow response time after submission, and reluctance of employees to see their ideas implemented without their involvement.

Keywords: Creativity - Employee suggestions - Innovation - Suggestion programs

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