從聰明的點子得到啟發

By:Rick Boxx

幾年前,意見箱是許多企業收集意見、抱怨和點子的普遍工具。然而今天通訊科技使得傳統的意見箱變成過時的東西。根據著名的商業刊物「華爾街日報」,意見箱已被網路的意見發送系統所取代。

這些新的系統不僅接收意見,也讓員工有機會評論並提出其他的建議。這讓他們有機會覺得他們的雇主關心他們且願意傾聽他們想說的話。許多時候員工提出一個新鮮的觀點、聰明的點子,但較高管理階層可能並不考慮。

例如,普華永道(PricewaterhouseCoopers)是一個總部設在英國倫敦的全球專業服務公司(提供保險、稅務和財經諮詢的服務),他們成立了一個意見管理網站,產生了3,300個新點子。雖然到目前為止,只有不到200個點子被實行出來,但那些被實施的點子為這公司省下幾十萬美元。

事實上公司員工通常比外來的顧問更了解公司的產品與處理過程,然而許多公司卻從未考慮要問他們員工的意見。幾年前「品質圈(quality circles)」和其他的決策機制使得企業能從那些在現場工作、直接使用機器、系統並設定實施做法的員工那裡獲得意見和洞見。誰能比那些每天都必須實際工作的人更能提出對公司有幫助的意見?

在舊約聖經中,我們發現有許多經文都肯定尋求建議與智慧諮詢的價值和重要性。箴言12章15節教導我們:「愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。」若我們願意接受並充分考慮所提出來的建議,即使是來自組織中較低階員工的意見,我們就是展現智慧。

另一處經文甚至更強烈地說這種情況:「無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居」(箴言11章14節)。這原則不但適用於國家,也適用於公司。而且聖經的作者好像要確定我們不會錯過這個建議,在箴言15章22節又用稍微不同的方式說:「不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。」

在許多組織中,外來顧問的建議比自己公司員工的意見更受重視。我並不想要貶低顧問的可能貢獻,因為身為「局外人」,使他們有能力從不偏頗、客觀的觀點去考慮狀況。

但同時,我要強烈建議你不要忽略你部屬的集體智慧。若你有開放的心胸,讓他們很容易提出「聰明的點子」,你可能會發現他們有可以幫你省許多錢的點子--而且有可能為公司的進步開始一些非常重要的改變,提高生產力並增加獲利能力。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否記得傳統的「意見箱」?若是,你曾否將你的一些意見投入那箱子中? 你多常使用網路上的意見發送系統,不論是在你自己的企業裡提出意見,或是以顧客的身份提出意見給其他的公司?你認為這樣的意見表達有用嗎?請解釋。 依你的觀點,你的公司或機構對於員工之意見和建議的接受度有多高?你能想出任何來自員工的「聰明點子」曾經帶來的重大、正向改變嗎? 為何有時很難收集到建議,尤其是來自組織內部的建議?你是否同意箴言所說,拒絕別人建議(或智慧諮詢)的人是愚昧的?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言13章1節,19章20、27節,20章18節,24章5-6節,27章17節;傳道書4章9-12節;馬太福音13章57節

FINDING ILLUMINATION FROM BRIGHT IDEAS
By Rick Boxx

Years ago, suggestions boxes were a common tool at many businesses for soliciting comments, complaints and ideas from both customers and employees. Today, however, communications technology is making the traditional suggestion box obsolete. It is being replaced by online idea-submission systems, according to the prominent business publication, The Wall Street Journal.

These new systems not only receive ideas, but also allow employees the opportunity to comment and vote on other suggestions. It gives them an opportunity to feel like their employers care about them and are willing to listen to what they have to say. Many times they offer a fresh perspective, presenting bright ideas that might not have been considered at the upper levels of management.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global professional services firm headquartered in London, England, launched an idea-management website that generated 3,300 new ideas. Although less than 200 of the ideas have been implemented to date, those that were put into use saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The fact is that employees often know the company products and processes better than consultants that come in from the outside, yet many organizations have never considered asking their staff for ideas. Years ago, “quality circles” and other strategies enabled businesses to enlist ideas and insights from employees who were working “in the trenches,” dealing directly with machinery, systems and established practices that were being evaluated. Who better to offer helpful ideas than the people who must do the actual work on a day-to-day basis?

In the Bible”s Old Testament we find numerous affirmations of the value and importance of seeking advice and wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 teaches, "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." If we are willing to receive and give full consideration to advice offered, even from individuals stationed much lower on the organizational chart, we demonstrate wisdom.

Another verse states the case even more strongly: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). This principle is just as relevant for a company as it is for a nation. And as if to make certain we did not miss this recommendation, Proverbs 15:22 states it a bit differently: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

In many organizations, the advice of a consultant from outside is valued more highly than the ideas of those on the company payroll. I don”t want to minimize the potential contributions of consultants, since being “outsiders” gives them the ability to consider situations from impartial, objective perspective.

At the same time, I would strongly recommend that you avoid overlooking the collective wisdom of your staff. If you make it easy and open for all to present their “bright ideas,” you might find they have ideas that could save you a lot of money – and quite possibly, initiate some very important changes for improvement, enhanced productivity and increased profitability.

Copyright 2012, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you remember the traditional “suggestion box”? If so, did you ever take the opportunity to submit some of your ideas? How often have you utilized online idea-submission systems, whether to offer comments within your own business or to respond as a customer to other companies? Do you think this is a useful practice? Explain your answer. In your view, how receptive is your organization to receiving comments and suggestions from employees? Can you think of any “bright ideas” from them that led to significant, positive changes? Why do you think that sometimes it is difficult to solicit advice, especially from within the organization? Do you agree with the implication from the passages in Proverbs that the person who refuses to be open to advice (or wise counsel) is a fool? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 13:1, 19:20,27, 20:18, 24:5-6, 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Matthew 13:57

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