How—and why—you should encourage employees to share ideas

Companies ranging from Cisco to Ketchum are finding ways to elicit suggestions from their employees. If you are, too, be prepared to act on what they offer.

As editor-in-chief of The Magazine of Yoga, Susan Maier-Moul works with writers and editors in the United States and Europe who often won’t scroll down through long discussions in email threads.

How to generate discussion and ideas in a field where collaboration is essential? Maier-Moul relies on blogs through Tumblr and WordPress, which are open only to employees and contributors.

“You can be doing it from a laptop on a train,” she says. “You don’t have to be in the office. You don’t have to go to your tech guy to ask for some space on the server.”

Inspired by a recent post in Inc.com, we asked how companies generate ideas from staff members. The suggestions ranged from financial incentives to instant-message “idea storms.”

But everyone seems to agree that new digital tools provide unprecedented ways to crowdsource and cross-pollinate ideas.

Idea generation is essential

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