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Do you know where the most powerful and cost effective source of best practices exist? Would you be surprised if I told you it was within the four walls of your company? Employees offer a source of rich ideas and pragmatic solutions to some of the most challenging problems, all resulting from their intimate knowledge of your customers, suppliers and day-to-day operations.
A framework for collecting, assessing and introducing these internal best practices consists of 3 stages:

  1. Idea formulation: Soliciting of ideas and solutions from employees through a variety of channels including front line management input, employee suggestion programs and senior executive discussion forums.
  2. Concept Validation: Having employees make suggestions AND provide sufficient information supporting how their idea will improve existing business performance improves the value of the idea and the level of engagement of the employee.
  3. Solution Application: I’m a strong proponent of a collaborative approach to introducing validated solutions by engaging both employees and front line leaders in the process. These groups have the greatest impact on successful solution introduction hence their involvement at this stage is critical to successful implementation.

So stop looking externally for solutions to your business challenges and start soliciting your employees for ideas. The value and success of introducing these ideas will be far greater than any initiative you may try to find externally.

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