retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal has a piece suggesting that “in an effort to cut costs and create new products and services, firms are seeking ideas from their own employees on everything from money-saving strategies to product design ... It's often the employees - rather than outside consultants - who know a company's products and processes best. According to management experts, many of the most innovative companies tend to solicit ideas from staff throughout the organization, not just the executive ranks.”

It is, however, still an upstream swim for many companies: “Research has found that the average U.S. employee's ideas, big or small, are implemented only once every six years, says Alan G. Robinson, a professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”
KC's View:
This piece synchs up nicely with a point we were making here yesterday about how organizations would be better off if they treated their people like assets, rather than as costs and/or liabilities.

The Journal story makes the point that some companies are offering financial renumeration for ideas that are implemented, and that’s important. But never underestimate the power of influence ... the sheer ego-building, “I feel ownership” charge that one can get out knowing that they made a difference.