Ideas and Innovations Committee

I believe the creation of an ‘Ideas and Innovation Committee’ would be of great benefit to any company and its staff members.

The purpose of the meetings is ideas, not whines or whinges. Basically we are asking our senior personnel for ideas on how we can make the company more efficient, more profitable or maybe just a better place to work.

If we are not improving then entropy guarantees we are getting worse. Companies needs innovation and the more minds that focus on this the better the chances of making it happen.

My proposal is that the Ideas Committee meets monthly and consists of managers and possibly senior supervisors.

The meeting will be organised by a Chairman. The Chairman will ask around the table for ideas, each individual will have a maximum of 5 minutes to present their idea, only one idea per individual, per meeting will be accepted.

Stage 1

Once an idea has been presented there will be a short period to allow for discussion and questions. At the end of this period the presenter will ask for support for their idea. If at least one other person will second and support the idea then the idea is classed as Stage 1.

Once an idea is accepted as Stage 1, the presenter will be asked to come to the next meeting with the idea written out to be properly presented to the group. This is Stage 2.

Stage 2

Following the Stage 2 presentation the idea will need majority support to become Stage 3.

Stage 3

To reach Stage 4 a Stage 3 idea needs to gain an Executive Sponsor who will support the idea and present it to the board for approval.

Each idea, who presented it and what stage it reached will be documented and sent out as minutes to each committee member following the meeting.

I’d expect each manager to involve their team to help come up with new ideas. To provide further incentive maybe we could have an annual ‘Most Innovative Department’ award, maybe a wall plaque or similar. Not only does this show our employees we listen and are invested in the future but it also demonstrates the same to our customers.

For companies to go forward and succeed I think new ideas and better communications are essential. The time to implement something like this is now. There is never a better time to implement change and improve our culture than right now.

Learning and Teaching Organisation

If you are not constantly learning, you are losing out to an organisation that is …

The idea for this proposal came from the fact that there are things I need to learn and embrace to help me be better at my job.

A while ago I came up with a list of areas of ‘learning’ in which I need to get everything from a brief overview to a deep understanding. Many areas were technical, some were more practical and for me more difficult because they are, if not outside, at least at the edge of my comfort zone. I have been working through this list recently and will continue to do so going forward.

If I as a typical employee in a regular job have realised how much I don’t know and how much I need to learn, do others think the same about themselves? Could we all benefit from additional learning? Funnily enough on a daily basis we are surrounded by people who know stuff we don’t, but that we could benefit from knowing.

I think it would be a great idea for all organisations to become a Learning and Teaching Organisation.

Why can’t the company allocate a time period (2 hours?) on a regular basis (fortnightly, monthly?) for our staff (managers only? Supervisors? everyone?) to optionally either learn or teach something?

It could be myself and a couple of others sitting with ??? to learn how he optimises product and how he overcomes daily scheduling of production problems. It could be ??? and a few others sitting with ??? in Accounts to learn about how credit cards and invoices are reconciled. It could be ??? and ??? taught by myself how to do SQL queries. It could be a group brainstorming about the current disrupters such as AI and Machine Learning and what will be the benefits and issues for us as a company?. It could be any individual or group sitting with someone and learning about something.

Some ideas about things that could be taught are:

Part of your own job
An industry best practice
A specific technology or skill
A particular methodology or book
Our products
Certain customer organisations
Company standards
Company techniques
Health and safety
HR related information
Company disciplines
Rules and regulations
Selling techniques
Customer Service techniques
Lean / TQM / TOC manufacturing
I could go on, but you see where I am going with this.

Learning is beneficial and so it teaching. I think it would make for a better educated, more cohesive, more confident, more empathetic workforce with much better knowledge of the organisation as a whole and their colleagues roles within it.

What’s not to like ?