The Idea Driven Organization by Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder

I recently finished this new book, and it was an excellent read. I’ve been on the hunt for a good book on innovation and generating new ideas in the workplace, and this is exactly what I was looking for. Check out the video review below for my thoughts on the book.

Video notes

  • Management driven vs front line driven ideas
  • “Successful” managers vs effective managers
  • Resourcing for time: how to have time to innovate
  • Being problem-sensitive versus problem averse (also known as “that’s not my problem” syndrome in the corporate world)

Should you get it?

I’d recommend this for anyone looking to drive more innovation in the workplace. HR always talks about strategy and impacting the business, and this is a great way to make that happen by harnessing the power of your people. Click below to grab your copy!

If you like keeping up with new business concepts, I have one for you: the ROWE.

I’ve talked about the idea of a Results Only Work Environment before, but the latest book by Cali Ressler and Jodi Thompson (Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix It) is the handbook for organizations and managers looking to put it into place.

why managing sucksLet me start by saying that if I could flip a switch and turn my employer into a ROWE, I would do it. In essence, a ROWE means that staff work when they want, where they want, and as long as they are getting the results, the rest doesn’t really matter.

The issue is that I work for a government contractor, and we are required to track each hour worked for every employee (exempt or non) for billing purposes. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m betting the government isn’t about to change the way they do business to align with greater efficiency and effectiveness based on their track record.

The Appeal of a ROWE

Here’s why I love a ROWE. Managers can’t just come to you and say, “Bob isn’t putting in the hours.” They have to come to you and say, “Bob is not achieving the results we agreed upon.” As an HR pro, in which of those situations would you feel most comfortable backing up the manager? Yeah, definitely the second.

It forces managers, employees, and business leaders to ensure that people actually know what they are supposed to be achieving. That’s what really matters. And that, my friends, is a very refreshing thought.

Check out the video below where I talk more about the book. I highly recommend it!

Click here to check out other book reviews.

big ideasOne of our core values at work is “provide innovative solutions that exceed expectations.” That might seem like a standard/blah kind of idea, but it plays out in a way that I haven’t encountered anywhere else I’ve worked. We have a “big ideas” database that allows employees to share ideas on anything they think might be valuable to the organization. We’ve had everything possible posted, from lucrative new product lines to a request for larger garbage bags in the kitchen (seriously!).

Recently the Operations team set up our own database to capture ideas that we might like to implement for our workforce. A few things in our database right now:

  • Paid volunteer time-Employees at some large companies get paid for volunteer time. I pitched the idea that we could pay for as little as 4 hours for someone to go out, volunteer in some capacity, and do good in the world without breaking the bank on an expensive program.
  • Adding core values to informal peer recognition-while we already rate people within our formal performance management system based on how they uphold our core values on a daily basis, this would allow the day-to-day recognition on a peer level to also reflect on the handful of tenets that we operate the business by. It’s the little things that matter! Continue reading