Imagine if you will that you are planning to build a new house.

You go to your architect and give him/her a thoughtful brief that might cover:

– budget

– number of bedrooms

– number of car spaces

– level of environmental impact

– type of materials

– views etc etc

This is a considered (as it should be) briefing process.

Now compare this with many managers and leaders efforts when it comes to unlocking the ideas of their employees.

They intuitively know that employees have these wonderful ideas, energy and passion.

Hence they launch various employee idea programs.

But that is all the direction employees receive.

Imagine saying to your architect — I would just like a house!

Any house will do.

You would never to that.

It is far too important.

It is a similar situation with any employee idea program.

Any successful program must start with a tight brief.

Your brief should consider:

– What is the goal of the program?

– How long should the program last?

– How will the ideas be judged?

– Who will evaluate the ideas?

– What might the recognition or reward prizes be?

– What is the budget?

In my experience working with leaders as an innovation consultant and facilitator to help create and implement employee idea programs these types of questions have to be addressed before launching any program.

Otherwise you will end up with any program.

It will not engage employees and end up in frustration for all parties.

And that will never be good enough.

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