Dean Shroeder, the other half of the co-author team of the new book Ideas are Free, weighs in with his perspectives on why the traditional suggestion box is no longer relevant in the FastCompany Weblog:
“The suggestion box sends some not so subtle messages. One is that ideas are not part of everyone’s job – they are optional. Employees are not expected to come up with ideas for improvement. But just in case they do, there is the box on the wall. In other words, the people on the front lines are not expected to think.”
The irony, Shroeder aptly points out, is that nearly every employee does have valuable ideas — what’s needed are common-sense processes to draw them out, and to empower employees to share their process-improvement and cost-reduction brainstorms.