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Halfbakeries for Businesses

A halfbakery on every corporate intranet
  (+47, -3)(+47, -3)(+47, -3)
(+47, -3)
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Large businesses these days have intranets; Large businesses these days have communication problems; Large businesses these days need new and innovative (often eccentric) ideas to progress.

The idea is to put a halfbakery on every corporate intranet so that everyone working within the business can show their ideas. This would help businesses to exploit the unused genius in the lower ranks of the corporate heirarchy, it would also help to cut out idea theft as a record of the owner of the idea would be on the intra-halfbakery. Of course, the creator of the halfbakery would make millions from selling the intra-halfbakeries to the businesses.

All the above problems - sorted.

MrKangaroo, Feb 05 2002

General Idea Sink http://www.generali...inc.com/cc_main.asp
Highly touted general idea sink [LoriZ, Oct 04 2004]

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       Most businesses don't want that kind of input. They think they've hired the right folks to make the decisions, and those folks don't care what others think. The "suggestion box" at most companies is an appeasement gesture that allows management to give the appearance of wanting suggestions, but actually makes it easier to ignore employees: "well, john, that's interesting - put it in the suggestion box."

But it really comes down to the psychology of value. Free information/ideas have no value, and must be wrong. The more you pay for an idea, the more it must be worth. Which is why a whole bunch of employees can have a good idea, but management won't hear it unless a high-priced consultant says it.

Besides, there's the tendency for suggestion-box systems to get really, really bogged down with trivial and stupid things. Sorting the wheat from the chaff is usually more work than it is worth.
quarterbaker, Feb 05 2002
  

       Yep thats a very true and sad fact. I was thinking more from a frustrated "my ideas never count" point of view because i am at the lower end of the heirarchy. Not all of the ideas would have to be acknowledged but if one good (profitable) idea emerges, it would all be worth it. Also, the ideas would not have to all be serious, it could be a talking point for the business and a source of high moral and team building.
MrKangaroo, Feb 05 2002
  

       Shame you/Jutta didn't think of this application 2 or 3 years ago. Jutta would be a millionaire by now, and the halfbakery would have solid gold pages.
pottedstu, Feb 05 2002
  

       I agree that it would be enjoyable, from the employee's perspective. And it would be nice if the world worked in such a way that it would matter.

In fact, some companies do actively solicit suggestions from their employees. This type of program has to be actively managed to be successful. That is, you can't just have someone go through the suggestion box once a week or once a month, and cull the crop. I've seen companies in which the person responsible for selecting suggestions for committee discussion was the most unimaginative, uncreative person possible, with no ability to recognize a good idea. The programs tend to work well when there is (a) a real process, with defined steps, including analysis, projection, and follow-up, and (b) financial incentive. Give the suggestor 1/2 of the projected savings from an idea, for example.

Very small companies don't need this - they usually have established informal and formal communications that would suffice. Very large companies usually already do this, in some manner.

And the medium-sized companies are the territory of the consultants. Perhaps there's a business to be had in consultancy on soliciting employee suggestions.

Oh - croissant.
quarterbaker, Feb 05 2002
  

       quarterbaker - I think we've stumbled upon a common business problem: Businesses employ people to do certain jobs, some of which do not require a lot of brain power and so most of the resources that they employ - brains/minds - are going to waist. I think that is a very inefficient way to run a business. Croissant much appreciated.   

       pottedstu - Unfortunately i had no idea that the halfbakery existed 2 or 3 years ago. I dont think i would have thought of the idea at 16/17 yrs of age anyway.   

       Jutta - Act now, make your deserved millions!
MrKangaroo, Feb 05 2002
  

       Well, it took six years for it to hit the mainline publication but now the word "culture" has struck the company newslines. I find it odd that a semester I spent on the study of culture's nature, phenomina, and implication for strategic planning became a months-long encounter group from whence the material was quickly purged from use. I immediately thought several things had happened:   

       A. The subject of culture was what top management spent 90% of their time at doing, to the elimination of the lower functionaries.
B. Culture, like its siblings diversity and individuality, was just too damned ethnocentric to let it be spoken publicly.
C. That culture was a function of several institutional features like gossip, the grapevine, and knowledge -- best kept within written guidelines, or suspect.
  

       The only true notion I seem to retain about the nature of culture in the workplace today is that it is more about the individual than about the group, and that makes it akin to politics. I like the idea of a halfbakery-style forum for workplace discussion, but I sense the validity of some previously stated arguments. On a personal note, I recall when some poor (I hope that person is still employed, BTW :) soul laboriously collected, tabulated, and typed up a list of the suggestions collected at our drop-off boxes. Those were anonymous, but you KNOW some were pretty obviously the product of one or another person.   

       Actually, every few months some other initiative arises to survey us and produce an award, or list, or notification that a change is coming due to "suggestions of our employees and visitors". My suggestion that these surveys be amended to include the wording of the highly paid corporate consultants we need every few years has since gone without response.
reensure, Feb 05 2002
  

       intranets drive me crazy!!! i work for the government in communications with web development and can't stand how the intranet is under utilized. what a brilliant concept that would increase the flow of communications and bridge the gap between management and employees. i'm going to suggest this right now for our site, i'll let you know if they bite here!
teatime, Feb 05 2002
  

       I hope you don't work for *my* government...
snarfyguy, Feb 06 2002
  

       There's also the risk that the idea actually implemented would be the equivalent of custard explosions.
hello_c, Feb 06 2002
  

       Won't work. HalfBakery is multi-disciplinary synergy of thought. The physicists making suggestions alongside the physicians. This kind of crossfertilization of bizarre idea feeding off another won't happen in Corp. world, since by definition, a corporation has a narrow charter: "Make oil"; "Make donuts"; "Make accounting evaluations that seem real, but aren't".... whereas here, the rule is "we don't care if your idea works -- just make us laugh".... or "If it requires suspension of disbelief, we can dig it".
pathetic, Feb 06 2002
  

       I disagree with the narrow focus. The company's mission statement maybe narrow to some degree, but in every company there are people that are willing to discuss ideas - just for the fun of it. The 1/2B shows similar behaviour. Any organisation would be more fun with some personal notes. In *my* company the only that is really used is the personal adds part (for exchanging junk). I guess one of the critical factors is whether the idea-section is controlled by management or not. The more freedom, the more fun. IMHO.   

       Just like teatime - I'll post the idea to the intranet folks and see what happens - just for fun.   

       Eagerly awaiting the publication of the code...
spekkie, Feb 06 2002
  

       If you want code, I'm sure you could turn the Everything2 source code to this end with minimal effort; it's freely available for many purposes.
pottedstu, Feb 06 2002
  

       Baked. I actually implemented something like this at my last job on our Notes server.
RayfordSteele, Feb 07 2002
  

       Collaboration is a growing market in technology. This would probably be a marketable niche product.
cleffedup, Nov 24 2002
  

       Bad idea, but I am too sick to argue the point. There are many reasons why a lot of companies have annonymous suggestion boxes. It would create too many problems in the way of "teamwork". Especially with all the younger generations moving up fast in companies where it took older employees many many years to earn such positions. There would be a lot of tension in the way of, "I've been here long enough to know what works", and "Well, it is time for fresh new ideas". I think halfbakerys should be limited to those who enjoy a challenge and can handle criticism. We can get pretty ugly with each other at times.
drfowler, Nov 25 2002
  

       Im usually a quiet lurker, but I just have to tell you how much gluteus maximus your idea drives a pes into at extremely high velocity.
Chopsticks, Nov 25 2002
  

       Outstanding idea, if executed in the precise spirit of this site. I mentioned to my wife that I have been looking for this site my entire adult life, as I am chock-full of half-baked ideas.   

       In order to be successful, though, the office culture would need to be there for it to be okay to spend an hour researching a nit-picky aspect central to the latest half-baked idea.   

       I think this would be a potential goldmine for unconventional ideas. Would love to see it happen.
phughes, Jul 17 2003
  

       This very idea was rehashed and printed in the Harvard Business Review earlier this year. It's an excellent suggestion.
jonthegeologist, Jun 23 2005
  

       nice, but you'd have to keep it semi-anonymous, or else people would be embarassed to be openly spending so much time half-baking.
sophocles, Jun 23 2005
  

       In my outfit, the halfbaking starts at the top and implementation rolls downhill from there. Does that make this idea baked ?
normzone, Jun 24 2005
  

       [Pa`ve] - that sounds very different from here. The physicists and technicians get on great (well, mostly).
Detly, Jun 25 2005
  

       I am pessimistic. What is the value to the employer? Comes up with good idea -- company exploits idea -- where is the employee's reward? It would take the fun out of it for me unless there was some clear exchange of value in both directions.
joeforker, Jun 25 2005
  

       Fishbone - Everyone in the higher (I don't know about the very top though) ranks of my company are, unfortunately morons. They wouldn't know a good Idea if it violated them from behind.
The Duke, Mar 26 2008
  

       Bun. At my company, we have "IP reps" who form the link between the average employee with an idea and the patent department. At various stages in the patent process, the employee gets a payout. It works very well and is actively supported by the management.
david_scothern, Mar 26 2008
  

       Duke, if everyone you run into in life seems like a moron, it may be your perspective which is out of focus. Just as if you are dropped in a foreign country and everyone around you seems to be speaking gibberish.   

       The value to the employee is recognition and respect.
RayfordSteele, Mar 26 2008
  

       big companies use sharepoint no?
So you'll have to make a DotNetHB :-(
pashute, Mar 26 2008
  

       My company uses wiki and forums - both completely open to all employees and contractors. It works quite well.
sprogga, Mar 27 2008
  

       Isn't this a "me too"? Take x and use it somewhere else.
marklar, Mar 27 2008
  

       Very nice, Mr. Kangaroo.   

       I kind of like saying "Mr. Kangaroo."   

       Mr. Kangaroo   

       Mr. Kangaroo   

       Is Mr. Kangaroo still around?
nomocrow, Mar 27 2008
  

       Can't you have a 'token' system? Everyday, you get a token, and for every good idea that gets promoted upward, you get an extra token.   

       This means, if you idea is considered to have merit, you can post ideas more often. (Or expend some credits to 'intranet advertise it'
mofosyne, Apr 25 2010
  

       + we could use this where I work...of course they seem to already be functioning on halfbaked ideas as it is.
xandram, Apr 26 2010
  
      
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