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Some businesspeople may assume that the corporate suggestion box has […]

Some businesspeople may assume that the corporate suggestion box has gone the way of the dinosaurs, or that it’s a dusty old relic of the 20th century — no longer appropriate for the Information Age. Robert Tucker disagrees. In his excellent book, “Driving Growth Through Innovation,” Tucker says the suggestion box can still be a potent tool for tapping the creative ideas of your employees. He cites one program at American Airlines, called IdeAAs, that has saved the company millions of dollars per year. Like most successful suggestion box systems, American Airlines pays employees a bonus based on some percentage of the cost savings produced by each implemented idea, which provides a very attractive incentive for employees to share their ideas through the IdeAAs program. Tucker also showcases several other companies where similar idea solicitation programs, backed by idea review boards and internal “venture funding,” have been very successful. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of the death of the suggestion box have been greatly exaggerated.

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