Saturday, March 20, 2010

Company Idea and Discussion Forums

"How's that hope-y, change-y stuff working out for you?" ~ Sarah Palin

To me, company idea and discussion forums have little value. Other than create an impression that management is listening, I think these forums are a waste of resources, time and money. I'd rather see management regularly report how they are eliminating systemic issues, instead of continuously asking for input on changes that should be made. Here are a few reasons I don't see any substantive benefit from these forums.

  • Many issues have been evident for a long period. Rarely do I read about a new issue or solution in a forum. If I'm aware of a long time issue, I'd think management would be also. So management is either deaf, stupid or doesn't plan on making the change. In my experience, most of management isn't deaf for stupid.

  • No noticeable positive change happens. I have yet to see a major policy, strategy or business change result from comments shared in a forum. In fact, I have seen changes opposite to request of forum participants.

  • Extended contributing to or reading of the forum reduces productivity. If people are writing or reading comments in the forum, they are not doing their work for which they are paid. Occasion input or reading isn't an issue. However, there will be those that spend substantial time using the forum.
  • Instead of an idea and discussion forum, I'd prefer management to create a results and progress dashboard from which I can judge management's and my own performance. Maybe I should submit this solution to a idea and discussion forum :-)

    For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

    This is not financial, or business advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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