“What we need is a conscious appreciation of the fact that ideas have been and can be, the solution of almost every human problem.” ~Alex F. Osborn
Alex F. Osborn believed everyone had the ability to be creative and come up with solutions to every day problems. The essence of what Osborn believed was discussed recently when I delivered a FourSight™ workshop to a group of MBA students at Clayton State University. I’ve conducted a number of sessions previously for the professor who teaches the class. The students are enrolled in an innovation and management course where they learn about strategies to lead change personally and professionally. The class had a discussion prior to my arrival about companies awarding incentives for ideas.
One of the students mentioned how high-tech companies award bonuses based on the number of patents their researchers gain. Another student said their company has an “idea drawing.” If an idea is selected, then the employee receives $25. However, if the selected idea makes it to the “final round,” the employee would receive an additional $50.
Now, $75 may not seem like a lot of money. But the fact that this organization and others incent their employees for sharing ideas is commendable. Companies who realize the potential of its employees input will ultimately reap the reward. Whether it be patents or something as simple as an idea drawing campaign, seeking input from those who deal with challenges are often in the best position to provide a solution.
Ideas are the lifeblood of the American economy. An organization who harnesses the imagination of its employees will be able to meet its challenges and find solutions. This is the message I conveyed to the MBA students at Clayton State University. The choice is theirs to have a conscious appreciation for ideas to the challenges they face in their organizations.
What are your thoughts?
Should companies offer incentives to their employees for their ideas? In what ways might organizations encourage employees to contribute ideas?