Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ForumsNotBoxes

Organizations for decades have used the concept of suggestion boxes to solicit ideas for improvement.  More often than not they become the vehicle for negativism.  Complaints, cheap shots, snide remarks abound – all anonymously delivered.

No, I'm not a fan of suggestion boxes.  However, I am a fan of garnering as much feedback as one can in order to make the wisest decisions possible on behalf of an organization.

To me, a far better approach to soliciting feedback/perspective is to have forums or small huddle meetings (standing up is even better) in which leaders actually engage the members of the organization in dialogue about ideas for improvement, areas which need attention, processes/policies that aren’t working.  

When substantive dialogue occurs among/between organizational members from all levels, worthy ideas percolate to the top.  Perspectives are gained.  Voices are heard.  Opinions are shared.  Troubleshooting occurs.  Possibilities are teased out.  

Those who refuse to participate are often the ones who know their thoughts will not withstand the scrutiny of open discourse.  (They prefer the suggestion box).

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