>"The technical talent people have inside of them has the ability to solve problems. Whereas management will often hold back and take very few risks because they aren't really sure that it can be solved or it might be too expensive.
>"Maybe it's one person down at your company - one really great engineer that has this idea. So you've got to be open to those. And the way to be open to them is like our original HP values, when I worked at Hewlett-Packard: good communication from top to bottom.
>"Don't make it a rule that you can only talk to your boss, who will talk to his boss, who will talk to his boss. The people at the top should just be totally open to talking with anybody - up and down the organization.
>"Engineers at the bottom are sometimes very important. They're the heads that have the ideas that might drive your company with a great product for the next ten years." +++++
One practical difficulty is that there are only so many hours in a day, and it will be quite a hassle to be open to everyone in your 20-person company - and it is MUCH more a hassle to be open to everyone in your 20,000-person organisation!
But it certainly can be done - it depends on the willingness of the bosses to 'listen' effectively to all ideas they get. Most bosses aren't willing. Most bosses find it extremely difficult to listen to ideas from down below the hierarchy.
It's primarily about the 'culture' the bosses are willing to inculcate in their organization. If such a culture exists in the company, then ways and means can be found to ensure that the working day contains plenty and enough time for the bosses to 'listen' to everyone's ideas.
Then you do need some simple technology that truly enables everyone to get his/her ideas into the mix - AND to be certain that ALL ideas are being listened to. People just will not put forth ideas if they feel those ideas aren't being heard and used.