Where Do Great Ideas Come From?
Great ideas are everywhere. There are a lot of great ideas out there. A great idea fills a need. It makes something easier for the client, customer, or organization. In order to develop great ideas, we need to not only be open to them, but also encourage them. Ask your customers for ideas on how to improve your service. Ask your employees on all levels of the organization for ideas on how to improve operations. The people around you could have a great idea that could improve your business or help you overcome a challenge you have been wrestling with.
Years ago I was managing a bowling alley/ pool hall on a college campus. The operation had been around for many years and use to do very well. At the time I took over the management, the bowling area was underutilized and not meeting budget. I tried many different ways to market the area, but was unsuccessful. One day one of our bowling regulars came to speak with me. He asked if we could develop a bowling membership for the bowlers. He said that it is easier for students to pay a one time fee at the start of the semester when they have money in their account then throughout the semester. I looked into the idea, ran some numbers and decided to give it a try. We developed a Frequent Player Program where bowlers could purchase the card at the beginning of the semester and get free bowling throughout the semester. We also gave away a free t-shirt with purchase that said, “Are you a Player?” on back with our logo on the front. The program was a big hit! Not only did we sell a lot of cards, but also the cardholders brought in friends with them who would purchase additional games. Plus, they loved the t-shirts. It was rare you didn’t see someone wearing the t-shirt everyday.
Sometimes we hear a great idea and we dismiss it without really thinking it through. It may be contrary to our ideas or the way we see thinks right now, so we don’t give the idea the attention it deserves. If we take a step back and review the idea objectively, we may find that it has great potential.
So let me ask you this. Where do great ideas in your organization come from? What great ideas are around you and what are you doing to tap this potential?
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