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Digital Transformation

20 reasons NOT to collaborate – You don't have ways to bring ideas to fruition

“Insert Ideas or Comments Here” – most companies have a suggestion or idea box. Usually its near an HR generalists cube because he or she is a young whipper-snapper and said the company needed one. Ideas are dropped in and they go into the suggestion abyss – never to be seen nor heard of again. Why? There was no way to take ideas or suggestions to the next level. That HR generalist doesn’t have the power to get better coffee in the breakrooms.

A social business has transparency and socialiablity of comments or ideas is what people have yearning for.  Vote an idea up or down.  Maybe add a comment.  Ideas don’t live within a silo and there is usually someone who think the ‘brown water’ called coffee could be better improved.  With social software you will get ideas and suggestions. Even if you don’t want them. But in order for collaboration to continue leadership needs to take ideas – good, bad or otherwise – and address them.

IdeaJam -

Above is a snippet of IdeaJam by Elguji Software and there are similar idea platforms from IBM Connections, Jive, Sharepoint, and Chatter.  Everyone has their own two cents on how ideas should be done.  Below is what Starbucks is doing with – they have an ongoing idea generation process that has lead to some of their best in-store additions like Bistro Boxes, VIA and so on.

I really love the concept of socializing comments, suggestions or ideas.  Whether this is done internally or externally – its ok to say, “great idea, but we don’t have staffing capacity to do that in FY11” or say, “Jim in purchasing is looking into getting Starbucks coffee in our break rooms as well as health teas”. You don’t have to act on everything but acknowledge the presence of them. Send a note to someone saying that you read the idea and such – a personal touch means a lot. Remember business is personal again.

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Jonathan Distad

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