Whatever Happened to the Suggestion Box?

Have you ever seen or heard something that triggered a great idea? Maybe it was something totally unrelated to your business or to the issue you were wrestling with in your subconscious. But it was that one thing that made a crystal clear impression…and from which you were able to proceed to solve the other issue.

This quotation attributed to the American Poet, Mark Van Doren caught my attention:

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iQoncept/ Shutterstock

“Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king.”

It is all too easy in our day-to-day business lives to skip over what might be solid ideas as we move from solving one problem to the next. We stop every once in a while to take some time to simply think, but then all too quickly we move on to the next item on our agenda.

What would happen if we asked our team members to write down ideas as those come to them, and then to bring those to the next staff meeting? Even better what if we gave them the opportunity to set their idea to writing and place it in an “Idea Box” created for your place of business. I suspect that if we gave just one public thank you for a good idea, we would find more and more good ideas being submitted.

As we do this, we do need to keep in mind that every idea submitted must be acknowledged privately by the team leader. If the idea is good ‘as is’ or becomes good with a little further thought, the person originating the idea should be rewarded in some way.

Imagine how much you will have helped the morale of your team as you take the time to discuss their ideas in an earnest manner that makes them happy to be on a contributor to your team, even if the idea didn’t earn them an award. The ‘award’ of being listened to and recognized as a valued, contributing team member will have been reward enough.

Al Campbell Pic

Al Campbell