At least twice a year we are asked to recommend a good ‘suggestion scheme’. We always give the same answer: Work with your people on the work; listen to them and act.

Managers don’t want this answer. They want to be told how to design good forms and how to design a bureaucratic structure to administer suggestions. These are often the things that stop organisations acting on suggestions.

In one example all suggestions had to be written on a form which was passed to the immediate manager for comments, to the next-level manager for a signature and then to head office to await the next sitting of the suggestions committee. A sure recipe for killing ideas.