Ideas are free

A worker in one of Europe’s largest wireless communication companies stumbled across an error in his company’s billing software that was costing some $26 million per year in lost revenues. He pointed out a simple way to fix it.

Simple ideas can save time, effort and money. They can also lead to entire- ly new ways of doing business. Even though front-line employees see many opportunities in their daily work that managers do not, most organizations are better at suppressing employee ideas than promoting them. As a result, huge amounts of money are wasted and customers are lost and disappointed. Opportunities are missed and front-line employees are often powerless to act.

Alan G. Robinson, an award-winning author, educator and consultant, and Dean M. Schroeder, the founder of two companies and a business professor, have written Ideas Are Free to show managers how to access the many ideas of their employees and turn them into competitive advantage. Through exten- sive research and work with more than 300 companies in dozens of industries, the authors explore the key factors that influence the quality and quantity of employee ideas. They also describe how ideas and idea management can be fully integrated into an organization’s structure and operations to create excel- lence and sustainable competitive advantage in every area — from productivi- ty to responsiveness, keeping costs low, quality, and service delivery.