1 min read

Incentivizing Ideation

Incentivizing Ideation

Back in my restaurant days, we'd hire new bartenders or servers who were always quick to spot a different and often times better way of doing things.

I couldn't figure out why myself or any of the other longtime employees never thought of the solutions that came so effortlessly to them.

Looking back on it, I think it was a combination of two things:

1.) The new hires often came from other restaurants which provided them a baseline to compare processes.


2.) The veteran employees were conditioned to adapt to problems instead of solve them.

In order to optimize both the perspective of the new hires as well as your more seasoned workforce, you need a method for incentivizing ideation.

Through doing so, workers will begin to solve their own problems instead of accepting them or even worse, spending all their valuable energy coming up with workarounds.

One way to incentivize problem solving is to assign ownership.

Let's say an employee spots a problem and offers a solution.

They should now be the ones in charge of implementing the solution.

This creates a sense of pride amongst co-workers because they can now say:

"I'm the one who helped solve this problem for myself and colleagues."

This is just one example but there's really infinite ways to encourage more internal ideation.

Start with a couple and notice the difference.

This is how we help ordinary people solve extraordinary problems.