Tapping the wisdom of crowds

Within companies there's a wealth of good ideas just waiting to be harnessed. The challenge is finding a way to get those at the top to capture the voices of their workers and managers.

Over the course of my career I must have had tens of thousands of people approach me with ideas about what their company could be doing better. Often they felt I was one of the few people who would listen to them. I'm certainly grateful to them because it has supplied me with a wonderful stream of commentary.

Plenty of companies that I have seen who have got into trouble did so because of table thumping unionists, intractable CEOs, or fund managers demanding that their quarterly targets be met.

Many times, the people with the most at stake in these organisations, the workers and the managers, were never heard by those at the top. Often the solutions existed inside the company but remained buried in one division or branch office.

Yesterday I set out the consequences of this situation (Seeking a manufacturing saviour, April 1).Today it's about getting started on finding a solution. I am not going to write a long commentary. I want you to watch the short video and over Easter think about it. Whether your are an employee, manager or owner the techniques may help improve the business and make it a better place to work – that’s an important aspect of productivity.

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