The UK and Ireland are caught in a web of snow, cold weather, and lack of preparation. Let’s face it this kind of snow is not supposed to happen and the UK/Ireland are simply not prepared to deal with the kind of snow that Chicago and Buffalo routinely get — and handle. Not enough salt, not enough trucks, not enough knowledge of how to cope are the culprits. Government officials and corporations should learn from this awful experience, but for now, 45% of the countries workers are at home sitting on their hands. Most of them would really prefer to be working.
The loss of productivity is massive and will put a dent in the fragile recovery — if action isn’t taken.
Here’s the idea: In every snow cloud there is a silver lining, maybe a gold lining. Here’s the gold for the UK and Ireland: when people have time on their hands the one thing they can do, anywhere, is think. They can come up with ideas. In the next few days, millions of ideas to improve productivity, service, and develop new products could be generated by British and Irish workers. Let’s call this effort SID (Snow emergency IDea generation).
CEO’s and Managers should take a look at the big problems on their plate and assign their workers the task of coming up with ideas to solve them. Lots of ideas.
Don’t put out a call for ideas for just anything. Make a specific request for your SID, send it via email, or set up a phone chain, and get the message out to workers they should come back to work with 50 ideas written down to solve a problem. Designate someone as creator and keeper of an idea database (could be as simple as Word document). They could also rent or lease usage of an idea management system like Imaginatik (and please tell them Gregg Fraley sent you…). This would allow workers to post their ideas where everyone can see them and the ideas would be automatically data-based. Or use a legal pad. The point is, get people going on generating ideas to solve problems and exploit opportunities.
Acting right now on this idea could make all the difference in 2010 results.
It’s a simple idea, this idea generation during the storm SID thing. And there is no reason at all why it couldn’t work. Imagine a year from now introducing a new product based on an idea from a line worker. Imagine a year from now a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction. Imagine six months from now an increase in earnings based on better sales strategy ideas. Imagine a whole new service you can offer your customers…
What’s your SID challenge? Make it specific, such as “In what ways might Acme Corp. address the challenge of tougher competition in its circuit board product line?” — give people a question that asks for ideas. Use that phrase “In What Ways Might We…” to start your question.
Give them a specific goal in terms of the number of ideas. If you think 10 is a stretch, ask for 15. If you think 20 would be great, ask for 30. Quantity will get you quality.
Get the word out now. You’ve got nothing to lose. Take Action Now.
Promise to do something with the ideas, and promise to report back by a certain date, like say, March 1. Then do it!
Put the best ideas into action as soon as possible.
Okay UK and Ireland, don’t just sit on your hands watching the snow fall. Get out a pencil, a pad, a laptop, and crank out some ideas. If your boss isn’t into this idea, crank them out anyway. You’ve got nothing to lose, be proactive. Heck you could even do a SID just for yourself.
Let’s turn this snow to gold.