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FedEx Delivers: How the World's Leading Shipping Company Keeps Innovating and Outperforming the Competition by Madan Birla

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Chapter 7

Create a Secure Environment for Expression and Acceptance of Creative Ideas

A stressed mind is in a survival mode. A stressed mind is not in a creative mode.

—Don Hardy, Former Managing Director, FedEx Operations in Australia

The competitive edge lies with companies whose management provides the leadership essential to building and sustaining an innovation and performance culture. Managers' day-to-day behaviors play a key role in motivating employees to give the gift of their discretionary effort—enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment—to the organization. Up to this point, this book has addressed how to engage people in the enterprise, help employees grow their knowledge base, and generate creative ideas. This chapter addresses how to share these ideas (see Figure 7.1).

What does it take to express new ideas?

  • Belief that the organization wants new ideas from everyone.
  • Formal and informal ways to express new ideas.

    image

    FIGURE 7.1 Innovation and Performance Culture: Third Dimension

  • Belief that someone will take the expressed ideas seriously.
  • Belief that one will get credit for new ideas and maybe a reward.

It is vital that employees feel secure in expressing their ideas. Managers, in turn, must feel secure in accepting new and unfamiliar ideas, especially if the ideas expressed are different than theirs. Feelings of security must be present in both the external and the internal ...

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