"It's easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date."
- Roger von Oech
The staleness of a business drives good people away---- both customers and employees. For a business to stay competitive it has to have a spark to it; a shine that never dulls. In order to get that shine business leaders must always be on the cutting edge with ideas. They must constantly be looking at "what ifs," and "how comes" so that they can see their business from various angles. But, just as important, good business leaders want their team members to be able to do the same.
"The achievement of excellence can only occur if the organization promotes a culture of creative dissatisfaction."
- Lawrence Miller
Once a team is in place in a business, it is up to the business leader to not only encourage idea generation from team members, but to empower them to come up with new ideas. This empowerment should be communicated during the hiring process and reinforced throughout the employee's time with the business. It should be instilled as part of the organization's culture.
There are several tools that can be used to communicate the need and importance for idea generation including the company's mission statement, vision statement, job descriptions, and employee handbook. The communication of idea generation can best be carried out by actually walking the talk. Rewards and recognition go a long way in supporting the employee empowerment.
"After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system,' many companies must relearn instead to trust their people - and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power."
--- Rosabeth Moss Kanter
When faced with a customer challenge or installation difficulty, you want your team members to think on their feet. With a culture of supported idea generation, you now have a workforce of "mini-mees," people that would care like you do about the business and customer satisfaction and will do what it takes to make things right. This is what you want and need to create and maintain a successful business.
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
--- George Bernard Shaw
Part of empowering idea generators is allowing your team members to occasionally fail so that they can see what didn't work and then figure out what will work. They need breathing room as well as room to grow.
"The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away."
--- Dr. Linus Pauling
Become an idea hoarder. Keep a file either on the computer or a physical file that holds all of the ideas that you and your team generate. Pick a day once a month or once a week where you go into your idea file and review every one submitted. See if there is one or two that you can begin either follow up on or implementing immediately.
You may have to throw out some of the ideas in there or keep them for future review, it is your call. Just be sure to continually replenish the file as often as you can. One good idea that is commonly used is to place a red (or orange, blue, or whichever you choose) notebook in a central location for everyone to see. That is the red idea book that anyone can use for submitting an idea. Encourage everyone to submit ideas and create a committee to help with reviewing the submitted ideas on a regular basis.
Oasis of the Sea: Digital Signage Takes a Cruise to Wayfinding
By Louis M Brill
As one of the worlds largest cruise ships, the onboard wayfinding system installed to help direct guests to the many ship-board destinations and attractions proves extremely important. To implement a contemporary wayfinding system, it was developed in tandem as both a static (print) system, and an interactive digital system. Read on...
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The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The Rise of the 'Content is King' Monarchy, Part III: Content
By Lyle Bunn
In Part III of the series, Content is King, we will examine standards of practice including key elements of design, some guidelines for content creation, and how to achieve that all-important call to action.
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"How Do We Make Holy Water? We Boil the Hell Out of It!"
In a local courthouse in the Passport renewal office:
"If you look exactly like your passport picture you are too ill to travel"
On a portable stroller:
"Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage!"
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