How does one motivate employees who are near retirement and can't be
bothered by idea generation. ie. too many systemic barriers in place.(see
I made some suggestions and I would like to hear the collective opinion of
the list. I'll summarize and repost as always.
Send your ideas to my Design Exchange email which is firstname.lastname@example.org
Director Idea Lab
a pilot program at the
---------- Forwarded message ---------- >
>Walter , regarding our converastion, and your suggestions for
>researching and surveying opinions on our designing an effective
>employee ideation system to support New Product Devt Process, from both
>academic and corporate arenas.
> - An established and profitable Canadian industrial products products
>company selling to secondary manufactureres.
> - Capital intensive industry.
> - Highly impacted by market North Americanization and globalization
>pressures in competitive industry.
> - Like many we have downsized workforce considerably from late 1980's.
> - Age of workforce is highly concentrated in the late 40's and early
> Mature employee structure (most have over 20 yrs. of company
> - Have re-organized resulting in flat organization structure with
>reduced promotional opportunities.
> - Extremely conservative compensation structure with very little
>incentive available to individuals through annual merit increases or
>individualized variable incentive pay.
> - Used to have an old employee general suggestion system which
>didn't work well, and has left some negative perceptions with both
>management and employees.
>To implement an effective New Product Development Process utilizing a
>stagegate process, in which the front end (1st Stage) requires
>motivating strong employee creativity and new product idea generation.
>1.How best to provide the positive motivations (recognition ,
>rewards, etc.) to stimulate creativity and ideation , and build &
>maintain a corporate environment which encourages them?
>What forms of positive motivation work best? Size of rewards?
>2.How to remove the "negative" motivations which may impede people
>with good ideas from bringing them forward ?
>For example the following attitudes can be expected:
> - a busy employee may fear that by introducing a new product idea for
>which they themselves have good expertise, they may end up getting
>assigned to yet one more project team to implement the idea, thereby
>increasing their workload.
> - an employee may not create &/or submit ideas if they see no promotion
>opportunity for them at this stage in their career. Also why do it for
>someone else's benefit?
> - an employee who is getting closer to retirement may not want to shake
> - management in a functional area may want to protect their scarce
>human resources from being tied up with new product development
> - negative perceptions of the old (now-discontinued) suggestion box
I suspect several companies face the same dilemma. What strategy or tactic
would you propose? What we need here is a percptual change. I suspect
there is little $ in the budget for any type of program, especially since
most of these staff just want to coast to retirement. This also raises
some important HR issues, which I suspect this organization has yet to
I'll collect and summarize suggestions and repost to the list in 2 weeks
Thanks for your collective creative efforts.
Send your suggestions to Walter Derzko, Director Idea Lab at the Design
Exchange at email@example.com
Walter Derzko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>