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The Idea-Driven Organization

Unlocking the Power of Bottom-Up Ideas

By Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder
12-minute read
The Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power of Bottom-Up Ideas by Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder

The Idea-Driven Organization explains how organizations can position themselves for long-term success by encouraging innovation at every level of the business. Although most companies think that creativity should come from above, that is, from managers and experts, idea-driven organizations are powered by bottom-up innovation.

  • CEOs, managers and business leaders
  • Anyone who wants to have more of a say at their job
  • Anyone who’s interested in the power of ideas

Alan G. Robinson is an author and business advisor who has worked with over 200 leading companies, including IKEA and Kraft.

Dean M. Schroeder is a management consultant and author. His best-selling book, Ideas Are Free, was voted “Reader’s Choice” by Fast Company magazine.

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The Idea-Driven Organization

Unlocking the Power of Bottom-Up Ideas

By Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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The Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power of Bottom-Up Ideas by Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder
Synopsis

The Idea-Driven Organization explains how organizations can position themselves for long-term success by encouraging innovation at every level of the business. Although most companies think that creativity should come from above, that is, from managers and experts, idea-driven organizations are powered by bottom-up innovation.

Key idea 1 of 7

Executives don’t have all the answers. Look to front-line employees for ideas and potential solutions.

Business managers and executives often fall into the too-easy trap of thinking that, from their perch at the top, they have a clear picture of what their organization needs to succeed.

But of course, this assumption is wrong!

Front-line employees are the people who deal with customer frustrations, problems and wishes  face-to-face and on a daily basis. Managers in contrast rely on focus groups and market research.

While such research is often sophisticated, there’s no substitute for daily customer interaction.

Building strategy around real-life insights into customer satisfaction can make a huge difference. That’s exactly what Clarion-Stockholm, a four-star hotel, discovered when it enlisted its employees in developing new ideas based on what they saw as pressing customer needs.

Sure, adding organic cocktails to a drinks menu might not seem like a major brainstorm, but when you implement small things aimed to make customers happy, these positive changes can have a snowball effect.

Think about it: happy customers not only spend more money, but also are far more likely to tell their friends about a great experience. What’s more, happier customers in turn mean employees are more productive!

Hotel bar staff at the Clarion-Stockholm were responsible for emptying bottle bins every hour during busy periods. This task not only took them away from customers, but also was tedious and dirty.

To improve the situation, the team came up with an ingenious solution. They drilled holes in the bar floor, and installed tubes that led directly into recycling bins in the basement. Bar staff could then toss bottles down the tubes without missing a beat at the bar!

As a result, employees were happy, more time was dedicated to customers, and overall sales grew.

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