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In Alan Robinson’s and Dean Schroeder’s excellent book, Ideas Are Free, the authors provide a straightforward strategy for making ideas part of every employee’s work.

In Alan Robinson’s and Dean Schroeder’s excellent book, Ideas Are Free, the authors provide a straightforward strategy for making ideas part of every employee’s work:

Front-line employees: “Instead of taking thinking out of the job expectations for employees, why not put it explicitly in?  And why not manage our organizations for ideas, instead of simply for conformance and control? That is, make getting ideas part of every manager’s job — for supervisors, middle managers and senior leaders. And design our policies, structures and operating practices to smooth the way for ideas, rather than to obstruct them.” One way to do this, suggested by management guru Peter Drucker, is to have everyone who comes to a meeting be prepared to give an idea for making his or her work more productive or enhancing the entire company in some way. Another strategy suggested by the authors is to write idea goals into the annual performance objectives of a work group, to encourage teamwork and collaboration among its employees.

The role of supervisors: “A supervisor has three important roles to play in managing ideas. The first is to create an environment that encourages them. The second role of the supervisor is to help employees develop their knowledge and improve their problem-solving skills, in order to increase the quality and impact of their ideas. The third role

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