Unfortunately, Paul’s experience is all too common. Too many suggest schemes become black holes for ideas – and nothing shuts ideas down faster than managers not following through on them. Understanding the perspective of those offering their ideas is critical.
I just returned from the Book Expo in Chicago where I found a new books that does a fun job in this direction. The Peon Book by Dave Haynes is a humorous view of how to manage people in the trenches from the perspective of someone who has spend his work life there – not as a manager but as a grunt. It’s a fast and funny read that can help any manager to better understand the thinking of the people they (try to) lead. If we don’t understand those on the front lines, how do expect to get and use their ideas.