Air France Mexico has launched an ideas management system monthes ago and we have now the first results. The followed purposes where of two kinds:
– Improve company’s performance
– encourage innovation
– Make people being in touch with each other
– Identify expertises
– enhance the statutus of employees
All the procedure is described(sorry link in french 🙁 ).
In so doing, Air France Mexico acknowledges that their employees thought and ideas are valuable for the company. If you want such a project to succeed you have to to make peeople confident because saying something can be improved also means something is not going as well as suitable. Implicating anything in the company is not very easy beacause some people may take it as a personnal attack, so you have to make people free to say what they think, and make managers open to such attitudes. I don’t know how people react to such things overseas but in France it may be a very sensible case, as a lot of people consider any suggestion of improvement as a personnal criticism (I’d be glad to have the feelings of US managers about that…..).
Another point is the way the process work. As said in the related post things work as “human to human” process for the moment, with the purpose of formalizing the workflow on the intranet. I’m convinced that it’s a tipical situation of a good use of collaboration driven intranets as described in the Razorfish report. For example a blog based collaborative intranet would allow people to suggest, discuss, comment…so doing managers would also identifiy what seems to be important for everybody, it may help them capitalizing more ideas and make global discussions, evaluations and project c-builnding about them. Involving the whole company in the process, allowing not only individual but also collective suggestion may improve the value of the ideas mananagement system and make the changes more easy to accept.
As a result, after less than one year, the company acknowledges a 22 to 40% participation rate, and some projects due to the ideas management system made the company save more than $ 200.000.
The process in itself is a good idea of what to do to increase innovation, by the way these new kind of approachs are a significant plea for intranets 2.0 as a discussion and innovation tool, making innovation become collective.
Just one more thing: Air France Mexico also have a blog. A true enteprise 2.0?