‘Post-it’ or ‘Sticky Note’ – we all use this paper-stationary for various purpose in our daily life whether it is at home or office. However, after the accidental synthesis of this low-strength glue in multinational conglomerate 3M, almost everybody considered it useless, and one unique idea converted the useless material into a big hit in the business. This is a burning example of how critical an idea could be for the success in business. In a successful business organization or team such kind of effective idea usually does not come out from the blue but through a set of professional skill and system. The beauty of a great idea is that after invention of such an idea people usually feel like - oh my god, it was so easy, I could also have done it! By practicing the following techniques you also can turn out your business into an effective idea-generating power house, which can significantly accelerate the growth of your business.
Keep the environment open
Encourage and accept opinions from all corner of the house. It can be done in many different ways for example, by using a drop box for submitting ideas in a closed envelope or by emailing to a specific account. Periodically these ideas need to be evaluated by an expert panel.
Avoid negative criticism
During the evaluation of an idea do not negatively criticise any person or their proposal in public, even the idea seems not having good value. Who knows that the next idea from the same person will not be a cracker! By demoralizing one you are sending alarming message to others, which will ultimately evaporate self-confidence and dignity from the team.
Develop unbiased team discussion system
Ensure that the proposal is being evaluated not the proposer. Delphi method is a very effective technique for unbiased evaluation of an idea so that the proposer/s as well as the commentator/s on the issue remains unexposed. It is always important to include the proposer (anonymously) during the evaluation of an idea because only that person knows the ins and outs of the proposal so that maximum pros will be surfaced while most of the other members will identify the cons.
Control credit hijacking
A very critical issue is the selling/spreading other team member’s idea after own name. Ethically it is a cardinal sin but not very uncommon in practice in an organization. Particularly it happens in an environment where effective communication system is not in practice, and the victims are generally the younger members. Ensure copy-shared mailing culture in the organization, at least to two levels, so that immediate seniors cannot hijack junior’s credit. Common drop box is another solution for credit hijacking but it delays the process. Using of a system, like MyManager™, which can provide centralized project/assignment-linked communication management system is the best method to stop such kind of malpractice.
Ensure proper reward system
There should be a declared policy for the reward system for generating effective idea. It does not necessarily mean that the reward should be big amount of money or big promotion. Rather the reward should be designed intelligently so that it satisfies the principle of organization as well as the need of team member to drive motivation in the whole team; for example, some individual may need a special vacation, some may need increment in paystub, some may need higher authority, some may need open-stage recognition etc.