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

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. COVER PAGE
  2. TITLE PAGE
  3. COPYRIGHT PAGE
  4. PREFACE
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  6. CHAPTER 1 THE IDEA REVOLUTION
    1. WHAT’S IN AN IDEA?
    2. HOW IDEAS DRIVE A CULTURE OF HIGH PERFORMANCE
    3. THE NEED FOR MANAGERIAL HUMILITY
    4. WHY ORGANIZATIONS NEVER RUN OUT OF IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
    5. OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK’S MAIN POINTS
    6. CONCLUSION
  7. CHAPTER 2 THE POWER OF SMALL IDEAS
    1. EXCELLENCE DEPENDS ON SMALL IDEAS
    2. SMALL IDEAS AND RAPID ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING
    3. SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
    4. HOW SMALL IDEAS LEAD TO BIG ONES
    5. THE TRUE CURRENCY OF MANAGING IDEAS
    6. KEY POINTS
  8. CHAPTER 3 THE PITFALLS OF REWARDS
    1. SOME INCONVENIENT EVIDENCE
    2. WHY DO PEOPLE STEP FORWARD WITH IDEAS?
    3. THE INVISIBLE COSTS OF REWARDS
    4. REWARD SYSTEMS THAT WORK
    5. KEY POINTS
  9. CHAPTER 4 MAKING IDEAS EVERYONE’S JOB
    1. “IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO THINK”
    2. MAKING IDEAS PART OF EMPLOYEES’ WORK
    3. MAKING IDEAS PART OF THE WORK OF SUPERVISORS
    4. MAKING IDEAS PART OF THE WORK OF MIDDLE MANAGERS
    5. MAKING IDEAS PART OF THE WORK OF SENIOR LEADERS
    6. MAKING IDEAS PART OF THE ORGANIZATION’S WORK
    7. KEY POINTS
  10. CHAPTER 5 PUTTING THE PROCESS IN PLACE
    1. CHARACTERISTIC 1: IDEAS ARE ENCOURAGED AND WELCOMED
    2. CHARACTERISTIC 2: SUBMITTING IDEAS IS SIMPLE
    3. CHARACTERISTIC 3: EVALUATION OF IDEAS IS QUICK AND EFFECTIVE
    4. CHARACTERISTIC 4: FEEDBACK IS TIMELY, CONSTRUCTIVE, AND INFORMATIVE
    5. CHARACTERISTIC 5: IMPLEMENTATION IS RAPID AND SMOOTH
    6. CHARACTERISTIC 6: IDEAS ARE REVIEWED FOR ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL
    7. CHARACTERISTIC 7: PEOPLE ARE RECOGNIZED, AND SUCCESS IS CELEBRATED
    8. CHARACTERISTIC 8: IDEA SYSTEM PERFORMANCE IS MEASURED, REVIEWED, AND IMPROVED
    9. KEY POINTS
  11. CHAPTER 6 FOCUSING ON WHAT MATTERS MOST
    1. CHOOSING WHAT TO FOCUS ON
    2. MAKING FOCUS A WAY OF LIFE
    3. KEY POINTS
  12. CHAPTER 7 GETTING MORE AND BETTER IDEAS
    1. HOW PEOPLE COME UP WITH IDEAS
    2. IDEA ACTIVATORS
    3. HOW TO BROADEN EMPLOYEES’ PERSPECTIVES
    4. IMPROVING ALERTNESS TO PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES
    5. KEY POINTS
  13. CHAPTER 8 LIBERATION AND TRANSFORMATION
    1. IDEAS AND ATTITUDES
    2. IDEAS AND RESPECT, TRUST, AND INVOLVEMENT
    3. IDEAS AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS
    4. HOW IDEAS COUNTER LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
    5. IDEAS AND A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CULTURE
    6. PARTING THOUGHTS
    7. KEY POINTS
  14. NOTES
  15. INDEX
  16. ABOUT THE AUTHORS