Does it feel like you sit in meeting after meeting at your organization and you never hear an inspiring or intriguing idea come across? That’s probably because you’re not listening to the best ideas in your company. Great ideas usually don’t come out during meeting and rarely do they come from the leadership team. In fact, if you truly want to know the best ideas in your company, you need to look elsewhere.
Finding the Best Ideas in Your Company
Diversify your sources of information
Many times those in leadership are focused on the bigger picture and are not aware of how things are going on the shop floor. Listening to the insights of those young and old, from entry level to marketing coordinator. Your experts are the people within your organization doing the work at every level every day. They know what is working and what isn’t. Your fresh hires are the best source of marketing ideas. Line workers can identify issues that lead to productions delays. Leave your desk. Leave the boardroom. Connect with the lifeblood of your organization and LISTEN.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
A fresh and new idea will never cross your desk if you’ve convinced those around you to believe that you are not open to their ideas. It’s discouraging and demoralizing to have suggestions you bring up shot down without consideration or worse, not solicited at all. Eventually, you learn to keep your mouth shut and stop trying to make a difference. If you want to hear fresh ideas and allow employees to feel engaged, you need to invite feedback. Let them know that even if you don‘t follow their suggestion, you heard them. Keeping communication as a two way street in your organization will lead to happier employees and better outcomes.
If your employees lack trust in you, they won’t be willing to share information with you either. Would you share your best ideas with someone you’re not sure you can trust? Probably not. Do your employees know that they will be the ones who will get the recognition and rewards for their ideas? Are they afraid that you’re going to take the credit and the promotion that might follow? Are they holding on to their ideas while sending their resumes to your competitors? Without trust from your team, you are essentially powerless. So take the time to build rapport. Let employees know they are valued and watch the insights roll in.
The best ideas within your company start with you and how others perceive you. If you want to be heard, you must also be willing to truly hear others. Allow your employees the opportunity to grow the same way you did, by not only soliciting their ideas but implementing them and allowing them to take ownership of the work involved. You’ll be surprised by the results!