Are you mining the gold?

THE fact that an organisation / business incorporates a formal system for encouraging, recognizing and rewarding innovation and improvement says a great deal about the maturity of that organisation / business. It demonstrates to clients and customers that management understands the vital importance of engaging its frontline people in improving the products and services that are designed to fulfill their requirements. It demonstrates to employees that they matter a great deal, that management acknowledges the true value of their contribution to the success of the organisation / business and that management acknowledges that frontline people are the best source of ideas for improvement - the ‘gold in the mine’. When would you use an Ideas Management System? When you recognise the necessity of constant change may be incompatible with the traditional ‘ways’ of your business. When you want your organization / business to take control of its cultural development rather than simply allowing it to happen. When you recognise that when an organization creates a culture of continuous, innovative and rapid improvement it effectively protects itself from the embodiment of ‘sacred’ ritual and routines that have no relevance in today’s world. When you recognise that in a culture of continuous improvement everything (with a couple of exceptions) is always open for examination and everyone recognizes that constant innovation represents the only basis for survival and growth. When you recognize that a formal, organisation-wide Ideas Management System is better than an ‘ad hoc, leave it up to individuals’ approach. When you decide that you need a formalised, structured system to optimise the potential of your workforce. Benefits / Outcomes An environment that provides a competitive edge that is difficult to establish but equally difficult for others to emulate A formalised system of innovation and continuous improvement incorporating incentive and reward A system that more than pays for itself in audited cost savings. A more fulfilled, mature and valued workforce. A culture that constantly and willingly seeks a better way A happier place to work An environment where problems are readily solved at the workplace leaving management to focus on bigger issues An environment that recognizes and rewards creative and innovative people A culture that exudes confidence and mutual respect at all levels. Places everything (with some exemptions) under a microscope. Innovation and improvement is everybody’s business Begin with the end in mind • Picture an environment where people enjoy the opportunity to actively participate in a vibrant, sustained (but well managed) process of business or service improvement. • Picture an environment where frontline employees enthusiastically solve far more problems than they ever create for management. Picture the Vision • Picture the impact on your organisation and your clients and customers. • Picture the advantage of incorporating innovation and continuous improvement into normal daily routines (as opposed to ad hoc ‘bolt on, must do - sometime’). • Picture the advantage of such a culture in terms of competitive advantage, morale, motivation and performance. • Picture the positive impact on your greatest (and possibly underutilised) asset - your workforce. 4 critical questions - rate your organisation on a scale of 1 to 10 1. Our people are fully aware of important problems and opportunities and we systematically and actively seek their inputs to solve these problems and seize these opportunities. 2. Our people have access to a systematic process that effectively manages change, implements viable improvements and provides recognition and reward to continuously stimulate the process. 3. Our frontline people are highly motivated and they and their direct supervisors are always seeking better ways of doing things. 4. Our people know that sustained and managed improvement is the key to continued success and as vital stakeholders they embrace the concept wholeheartedly. How did you score? 31 - 40 points: Great job - nothing much to do. 21 - 30 points: A systematic approach is obviously in place but things can be improved significantly. 11 - 20 points: A great deal of work is required to develop a culture of innovation and sustained improvement. 10 points or less: You really need to do something very different to what you have been doing. For more information visit: ; 08 9477 1135;

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