Monday, December 15, 2014

Why Businesses Should Thrive On The Expectation Of Ideas...

And then there are those organizations that die with a lack of ideas...

I had a dream about all the company employees I've know throughout my career. They were all standing in a circle telling me about "the good old days" of x company. They kept getting louder and louder. Some of them worked their way closer to me. "It was different then, it was different then..." They kept screaming at me. I finally broke through the crowd and ran away. I found a safe spot and rested my head. I was soon approached by one of the workers. He had a calm face and quiet demeanor. "Do you know why they are yelling?" He asked. I answered that I didn't know, and wanted them to stop. "No one listens to their ideas anymore... Their ideas are dying, and so is their work. When ideas die, so does good good work." He said lowering his head in sadness. It was then that I woke, and started writing this blog post...


I'm not sure if the worker who approached me in my dream is right, or not. But I realized why all the workers were so upset. If no one listens to the troops in the field, then wars are lost. The same is true of companies. Those executives that don't talk to their customers, nor listen to what field-level employees are saying will similarly lose revenues. A lot of the best ideas come pre-packaged, not from consultants who simply re-package what you already know, but from the field-level employees whom have carefully considered the angles of their idea, usually, with the customer involved. They are truly a wealth of knowledge. I've learned, throughout my career as a leader, that just by listening and engaging employees you can super-charge your organization. I've also learned that ideas soon begin to flourish when you listen. It all seems so simple, yet we don't do this...

In my dream, I ran from the employees. Instead, I wish I had just engaged with them as the workers in my dream were my ideas trying to gain their voice. Even in our heads, we stifle what could be a the next big thing. Listen up, and down, and inside!

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