Category: High Performance Ideas

Can an Organization Really Learn? thumbnail

The company’s president walked into the conference room for his Monday morning leadership team meeting. Everyone sitting around the table was a bit apprehensive. The previous week the president had attended a conference, and whenever this happens he always came back with some new concept or scheme to make the company better that he wanted implemented. This time, the program-of-the-month was creating the “learning organization.” After the usual Monday morning niceties  »  Read More

There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Idea …. Yah…Right! thumbnail

How do you respond to a bad employee idea? Let’s face it; despite the tired cliché ‘there is no such thing as a bad idea,’ some are just plain terrible. They may not work, be too expensive, are unsafe or perhaps even illegal. This is not to say that these bad ideas are not worthwhile. What seems like a terrible idea may in fact have great value. Among other things, such ideas are good indicators of where employees need coaching, training, or just more  »  Read More


From time to time, when I have developed a good rapport with an executive, I will ask questions that go beyond the workplace. A while back this happened when I, along with my research partner Alan Robinson, visited Martin Edelston, founder and CEO of Boardroom Inc. Marty, who was well into his seventies at the time, was a legend in the direct marketing world, as well as a thoughtful leader. (We tell a bit of Marty’s story in Ideas Are Free.) We had just finished spending  »  Read More

The Power of Trust thumbnail

Trust is a critical factor in the success of a high performance idea system. Employees need to trust that their ideas will be properly considered and implemented, and organizations need to trust that employees’ ideas are carefully thought-through and in the best interest of the company. But when an improvement idea has the potential to eliminate an employee’s job, a totally different kind of trust is involved. Last week Alan and I encountered such an idea while in Brazil  »  Read More

Add A Little Hoopla to your Improvement Culture thumbnail

Carl Holte loves Hoopla. Not hoopla as in the form of exuberant celebration, but hoopla as in the name of an improvement technique used at the Web Industries Hartford, Connecticut unit where Carl is the plant manager. Hoopla is a simple, quick improvement technique that is used at the end of every meeting or event. Participants are asked three questions: What Went Well What Didn’t Go Well What Should We Do Differently The rules for participants are simple: All feedback  »  Read More

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