|This is still the management tool of the 21st century. It represents creativity and innovation, and the way to achieve extraordinary results with ordinary people as they color
outside the lines. This little box also represents a powerful employee recruitment and retention tool.
|Some of the most common excuses for poor company performance are:
1. âWe donât have good talent here at our company.â
2. âOur pay scale means we have to settle for second-class employees.â
3. âOur employees are just here until they can find something better.â
4. âIf you want something done around here, you have to do it yourself.â
I was in a kitchen cabinet plant a few weeks ago. This is a fine company, but one that has gotten bogged down with negative attitudes. As I walked around the plant and engaged employees in small talk, I was amazed at the number of times one of these ordinary employees volunteered an idea to help solve a production or quality-related issues that they recognized as a constraint to the plantâs productivity. On the one hand, management was saying that the employees did not care about their jobs and on the other hand, those same ordinary employees were getting excited about helping to solve pressing issues at their company. How could this have been possible?
Was it because they confronted an outsider who had no preconceived notions about them or their attitudes? Was it because I took the time to listen to their ideas? Or, was it that we talked and shared creative ideas about how we might approach solving some of the issues closest to them â together? Could it be that I encouraged them to come up with a creative solution? I suggest it was all of the above.
It is important to see that if you can get your employees working as a creative team with you, together you can accomplish the impossible. You and I want to count for something in our jobs, and so does each and every person who showed up to work at your plant today. Get hold of this and get your people involved in the creative activity of problem solving. The results will be more creative people who are ready and willing to help propel your company
forward, because creative activity increases oneâs creative ability over time.
Extraordinary Results from Ordinary People
Most of us are just ordinary people trying to do the best we can. But, ordinary people are easily transformed into highly effective individuals if properly trained and motivated. This begins, as I have mentioned on these pages before, with a deep belief in your people and recognizing their intrinsic desire to be an important part of the success of your company. Every human being wants to feel needed and appreciated.
Every mediocre company needs to capitalize on this authentic human need in order to turn a failing company into a thriving success story. Six years ago, I predicted that the most powerful management tool of the 21st century would be creativity and innovation and I have not retreated from that position one inch.
I am more convinced today that this must be paramount in every top managerâs mind as he or she leads his or her company in this intense climate of global competition. I chose a box of crayons to represent creativity and innovation and thus have made it a tangible management tool that can be held in your hand as a reminder of what can be. But, holding the box unopened will accomplish nothing. The box must be opened and one or more crayons used to color outside the lines â to unleash your creativity and to foster that creativity and innovation in others. Those crayons represent the very employees you may be criticizing today.
|Successful wood products companies get extraordinary results from ordinary people. They believe their people will give their best as they transform their companies into world-class manufacturers.|
Let me remind you of the owners and presidents of very successful companies who have opened their top desk drawers and pulled out their box of crayons that I gave them some years back at a seminar or another occasion. They testify to the awesome power in that little box.
I challenge you to get your own box of crayons, or contact me and I will send you one. Place it on your desk and show it to your peers and employees. Use it as a tool to draw out the best in them and it will become a powerful employee recruitment and retention tool. Buy them their own box and encourage each individual to color outside the lines as your company begins the process of continuous improvement.
Then watch as you see extraordinary results come from ordinary people.
Tom Dossenbach is the managing director of Dossenbach Associates LLC, a Sanford, NC-based international consulting and research firm. Contact him at (919) 775-5017 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit his Web site at www.dossenbach.com.
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