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The Idea-Driven Organization

Book Description

Most companies, if they solicit employee ideas at all, essentially just set up a suggestion box, which employees know from experience is where ideas go to die. So nothing happens. But innovation is not an option—it’s the key to survival. And innovation needs new ideas. So where are those ideas going to come from? Using numerous examples, Robinson and Schroeder argue that the employees who interact directly with your customers, make your products, and provide your services are in the best position to see where problems exist and what improvements and new offerings would have the most impact. Robinson and Schroeder explain how leaders can build the kind of idea-driven company capable of implementing fifty to a hundred or more ideas per employee per year. Drawing on their work with companies worldwide, they show what’s needed to put together a management team open to grassroots innovation and describe the strategies, policies, and practices that encourage—and those that discourage—employee ideas. They detail exactly how high-performing idea processes work and how to design one customized for your organization—including advice for teaching people how to come up with new ideas. The best ideas may come from the bottom, but they have to be systematically solicited from the top.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. 1 | The Power in Front-Line Ideas
    1. The Clarion-Stockholm Hotel
    2. The Impact of Front-Line Ideas: The 80/20 Principle
    3. Creating an Idea-Driven Organization
    4. Why Are Idea-Driven Organizations So Rare?
    5. Realigning the Organization for Ideas
    6. Effective Idea Processes
    7. Getting More and Better Ideas
    8. Idea Systems and Innovativeness
  8. 2 | A Different Kind of Leadership
    1. Why Leaders Are Often Blind to Front-line Ideas
    2. Fighting Back
    3. Key Points
  9. 3 | Aligning the Organization to be Idea Driven: Strategy, Structure, and Goals
    1. Strategy and Goal Alignment
    2. Structuring for Ideas
    3. Key Points
  10. 4 | Aligning the Organization to be Idea Driven: Management Systems
    1. Budgeting and Resourcing the Idea Process
    2. Aligning Policies and Rules
    3. Aligning Processes and Procedures
    4. Aligning Evaluation and Reward Systems
    5. Conclusion
    6. Key Points
  11. 5 | How Effective Idea Processes Work
    1. The Kaizen Teian Process
    2. Team-Based Processes
    3. Facilitation
    4. Escalation
    5. The Electronic Suggestion Box Trap
    6. Key Points
  12. 6 | Implementing A High-Performing Idea System
    1. Step 1 Ensure the leadership’s long-term commitment to the new idea system
    2. Step 2 Form and train the team that will design and implement the system
    3. Step 3 Assess the organization from an idea management perspective
    4. Step 4 Design the idea system
    5. Step 5 Start correcting misalignments
    6. Step 6 Conduct a pilot test
    7. Step 7 Assess the pilot results, make adjustments, and prepare for the launch
    8. Step 8 Roll out the system organization-wide
    9. Step 9 Continue to improve the system
    10. Key Points
  13. 7 | Ways to Get More and Better Ideas
    1. Problem Finding
    2. Creating a Problem-Sensitive Organization
    3. Key Points
  14. 8 | Front-Line Ideas and Innovation
    1. Innovations Often Need Front-Line Ideas to Work
    2. Front-Line Ideas Create Capabilities That Enable Innovations
    3. Front-Line Ideas Can Transform Routine Innovations into Major Breakthroughs
    4. Front-Line Ideas Can Open Up New Opportunities for Innovation
    5. Setting Up an Idea System Removes Many of the Barriers to Innovation
    6. Bringing It All Together
    7. Conclusion
    8. Key Points
  15. Notes
  16. Acknowledgments
  17. Index
  18. About the Authors