How can managers ensure that they don’t miss good ideas?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 By Jack Nevison

Project managers in charge of a small team know that it is difficult to incorporate every good idea their team has. So imagine how managers of larger teams must feel.

As noted by a recent article on, really big companies often have trouble making the most of every employee's talents. Consider the example of Adobe, which employs 11,000 people around the world.

Obviously, many, if not most, of these people have a number of good ideas about how the company should run itself or develop its products.

"We had a lot of creative people with interesting ideas but not really an avenue to funnel those up," Mark Randall, Adobe's Chief Strategist of Creativity, told the news source. He added that even those ideas that did make it to the top often stalled, as executives tried to choose the best among them before having much of an idea of how they might turn out.

"It's like trying to pick your Olympic team when they're babies in their cradles," he said.

To solve that problem, Adobe implemented a new policy that would allow every employee to contribute more effectively. Known as the "red box," this toolkit effectively gives employees a way to work on their own ideas without prior permission. By the time an idea is brought forward, it has been developed into something workable.

At New Leaf Project Management, our 2-day program, "Complex Problems, Difficult Decisions & Innovative Ideas: Smart-Team Tools for the Working Team," shows you how to encourage your team to generate creative new approaches. In addition, our online project management games let you learn while you earn PDUs for PMP recertification.

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