Friday, April 21, 2006

Taking stock of good ideas

Amazing ideas for products and services can come from anywhere and anyone. To capitalize on their organization's wealth of ideas, the founders of a company called Rite-Solutions created an internal stock market of ideas where employees from all ranks and positions could offer up their innovative proposals (complete with stock ticker) for other people to "invest" in. Every employee receives $10,000 in "opinion money" that they can invest in their favorite ideas. People who volunteer to work on successful projects share in the proceeds when their "opinion money" becomes actual money. Take a look at the full New York Times article, "Here's an Idea: Let Everyone Have Ideas," for all the details.

Wouldn't it be terrific if a process like this were used to help in marketing library services?! This could be used to help uncover inventive ways to do market research, and to design, promote and assess services. Maybe patrons could also have "opinion money" to invest! As CEO of O'Reilly Media, Tim O'Reilly asserts in the article, "creativity is no longer about which companies have the most visionary executives, but who has the most compelling "architecture of participation." That is, which companies make it easy, interesting and rewarding for a wide range of contributors to offer ideas, solve problems and improve products?"

Categories: creativity_and_inspiration


Paul (from Idea Sandbox) said...

Thanks for the post, Jill. I saw something about this company the other day - but it didn't click about what they are doing until I read your post. Very cool. I agree that nearly any field could use this type of resource... What would be awesome, though is to not restrict it to librarians-helping-librarians... But to people-helping-people. I'm certain organizational ideas that librarians use could help a doctor. I'm sure that a plumber could help a librarian!

Jill said...

I thought you might like that article, Paul! You're exactly right - I think librarians and really people in any field need to find inspiration from all kinds of places to stay fresh, creative and energized. In higher ed, there's a big push toward interdisciplinary studies, and I find it strange at times that while we academic libraries support such initiatives, we don't always follow the trend ourselves and think inter-professionally. Maybe we should have exchange programs!