Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations

Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations

Alan G Robinson, Dean M Schroeder

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 1576753743

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Because they're doing the day-to-day work, front-line employees see many problems and opportunities their managers don't. But most organizations fail to realize this potentially extraordinary source of revenue-enhancing ideas. The authors of ""Ideas Are Free use real-world examples from their work with hundreds of organizations to show how to exploit the virtually free, perpetually renewable resource of employee ideas. The book explains how sustainable competitive advantages in areas ranging from productivity and responsiveness to cost reduction and quality assurance are only possible with the attention to detail that comes from getting and implementing large numbers of ideas from employees. Subjects include how to make ideas part of everyone's job, how to set up and run an effective process for handling ideas, how to help people come up with more and better ideas, and how a strong flow of ideas can have a profound impact on an organization's culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

were telling us. Gwen and J. Alan Robinson helped us immeasurably in this process, always asking probing questions and challenging us to simplify and clarify our ideas. We would never have been able to produce this book without the invaluable advice of our editor Steve Piersanti and the rest of the incomparable staff at Berrett-Koehler. Most important, we cannot begin to express what we owe our families, who lived every minute of the journey with us and cheerfully endured our lengthy and

is important that every idea be looked at to see whether it creates further problems or opportunities. While the idea system itself should ultimately pick up most of these, many can be discovered more rapidly by considering the broader impact of ideas as they come in. In chapter 2, we also discussed how small ideas can often lead to much bigger ones, if the right questions are asked. The obvious first question is “Where else can this idea be used?” If it can be used elsewhere, then the next move

and replace it with the 767-200, which had considerably less cargo capacity. This meant that the cargo sales team could not make commitments to potentially large customers who wanted to contract for steady shipping capacity. As a result, American Airlines often lost valuable cargo business. Even when passenger considerations were completely taken care of, cargo was still ignored. Airplanes like the MD-80 and the Boeing 727 were scheduled interchangeably because they had similar seating

famous essay, Friedrich Hayek, founder of the Austrian School of Economics, articulated why employees often see problems and opportunities that their managers do not.1 In writing about decision making in organizations, Hayek divided knowledge into two types: aggregate knowledge and knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place. Managers usually deal with the first kind of knowledge—things like “Sales are off 10 percent” or “Costs went up 5 percent.” The higher a person is in an

the pots had not been used. He proposed loading coffee pots on only the first flight of each day and washing them out and reusing them throughout the day. After all, on longer flights the pots were already being washed out and reused a number of times. His idea was implemented, and the savings were calculated at $788,000 per year.187 Why was Cantelmo the one to think of this idea? Plenty of other people had the same opportunity. The catering process had been designed by professionals—they might

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