Blue Collar Urban Legends
The snopes.com website is the authoritative source for urban legends and debunking those internet rumors that go around. Here, they have a collection of factory type urban legends about people at the lowest level of an organization who make amazing suggestions for the company, the “why didn’t I think of that?” variety.
This is fun reading, but it’s also a good reminder to think about getting full participation from your employees. That doesn’t necessarily mean a formal “suggestion program”, but rather getting out there (as an engineer or manager) and listening to your employees. How many of your problems could be fixed by listening to the expert who’s out there every day as opposed to a high-priced Six Sigma black belt who will study the problem for months on end?
There’s much untapped potential in our organizations, let’s figure out how to bring it out.