What is your team doing day in and day out? Do you know? Have you really thought about it? I’m not referring to their day to day jobs.
If your team is anything like mine, it’s likely that you have a goldmine of growth and improvement ideas right outside your office door. Ideas for growth. Ideas for improved efficiencies. Ideas for cost savings. Ideas to improve moral.
Your team likely has more potential than you may have really ever considered. Maybe you have considered it, but are unsure of how to go about taking advantage of this wealth of knowledge.
You have to create an environment that inspires, nurtures, and creates excitement about sharing ideas. This can not be taken lightly, or done halfway. If this idea is something you would like to pursue. You must be prepared to put ideas into action. You also need to have a plan to celebrate the idea, make it known that this new process, procedure, or idea was created by a member of the team (call them out by name in the announcement).
Some of the ideas will be slam dunks, you can put them into action with little work and with little time between presentation and implementation. When first starting this new program, these are actually the best, it creates excitement, and proves that you are serious about the program.
Many of the ideas will involve cost, time to implement, oversight, board approval. These could be game changers for the company in either your delivery of customer service, or cost savings / profit enhancement. These are actually the most exciting for your team member, and should be for you as well.
The big, long range ideas will provide the greatest growth opportunities for the company, but also for the team member, provided you treat these as such. These big ideas that may involve several departments, team members, possibly oversight, and board approval, provide you the leader, the opportunity to mentor the team member through the process. You need to allow the team member to do as much as the project as possible. From cost projections to resources needed. The more that you can work side by side with the team member, teaching them how to do the projections, estimates, etc. the more you develop the team member, and in the process, you motivate them, and the team as a whole.
A member of my team recently envisioned an idea to enhance revenue at our company. I asked her to write up the idea, present it to me. From there, we met, reviewed the idea, discussed what it would take to implement the idea. I suggested resources that she could reach out to for data, costs, time estimates. I did none of the work, I simply guide her, point her to resources, suggest data that would help move the project along, and answer the questions the decision makers would need to approve the implementation of her idea.
One of the resources that she needed data from was our company’s CFO. Her question was simple. She just need three pieces of financial data. Her question prompted a call to her from the CFO, and subsequently a request for her to meet with him for two hours to discuss her vision.
Though the idea is still several months or more away from possible implementation, my team member is so excited about the future, her teammates are also very motivated by the knowledge of her being asked to present to the CFO, and our CFO is so very impressed by not only the idea, but the work that she has put into the research, data acquisition, and effort that has been displayed by this member of our team.
As you can imagine. People are taking notice, team members are becoming even more motivated to look at every process, every task, literally everything we do day in, day out, and question the processes and their efficiencies.
Ultimately, if done correctly, and fully embraced. You can expect to see “Explosive Growth” within your organization. This type program will enhance your company’s balance sheet. It will improve morale and employee involvement. Best of all, it can be a springboard to develop your leaders of tomorrow.