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Posts tagged ‘success’


Capturing Good and Bad Ideas

If I only knew then what I know now! How many of you have ever said or thought that? It’s a fairly common thought among humans, and it is a powerful thought.

If humans could somehow know things in advance that they ultimately learn from the school of hard knocks, they could avoid bad marriages, bad bosses, bad hires, bad customers, bad investments, bad movies and bad sushi. On the other hand, they could also take advantage of an endless supply of opportunities for success.

But the fact is, you cannot know then what you know now. That’s not the way the world works. However, you can do the next best thing: You can know now what others knew then and others can know now what you knew then. Let’s put this idea into a step-by-step format so you can consider implementing it.

Step 1 – Create a form to help capture ideas. Use this form to capture good and bad ideas. Give the form a name and write it on the top. For example, you can call it an Idea Sharing Form. Add a blank space to the top of the form labeled Category. In this blank space, you might categorize ideas into sales, production, customer service, retention and so forth and so on. Think in terms of how someone might search for an idea later. Include an area with a few lines to record a highly summarized version of the idea. Label this section Headline of Idea. Under that, create an eight- or 10-line space and label it Comments and Explanation. If you’d like, at the bottom of the page, create a couple of blanks labeled Author and Date. Having said all of this, use a pencil to draft your form and make any changes to my ideas on the design of the form that make sense to you.

Step 2 – Have someone create an electronic version of the form to make it easy to distribute to your employees. Even better, create a document that allows others to fill it out on their computer rather than handwriting it.

Step 3 – Fill out at least one of these forms each week and encourage all employees to fill out a minimum of one form per week. Write up an idea that worked great or one that bombed; it doesn’t matter since people can ultimately benefit from both. Have someone transfer the ideas to a searchable database that all employees can access. Keep it simple.

Think about it, if you have 10 employees and everyone (including you) completes at least one form per week, you will have a database of around 550 ideas after 12 months – a database of ideas that specifically relate to successfully, or unsuccessfully, running your specific business.

This database can serve as a non-intimidating source of knowledge for you and your employees. Any employee who chooses to use this database can frequently say, “I know now what you knew then.” And that is a good thing!

Written by Chris Crouch, developer of the GO System.