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The Hidden Innovator

| On 21, Jun 2008

Praveen Gupta

Recently, I came across the Invisible Employee book written by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. I read some statistics such as 25% of employees being driven to tears and 50% being verbally abused. My experience has taught that almost 100% feel under appreciated for their work, and their innovative ideas ignored for better of the company. When a company struggles, talented ones are always let go first.


Most companies have goals for employee productivity, quality level, profit, and sales. Recently, one of the leading consulting companies recommended a new measurement that is profit per employee. Given that leadership is not tuned to the voice of employees, performance measures are always set for employees.


Every employee in an organization is an innovator, and possess the potential to contribute innovatively. But, employee ideas, intelligence and successes are noticed miserably. We are living in an ever changing technology rich environment led with the never changing old management principles. Employees are treated as headcounts, rather than counted on for their head. Technology decisions are made by the non-technology leaders without employee inputs, and non-technology decisions are avoided for the risk of failures. Today CEO works like an employee, and expects employees to act like a CEO.  These days roles of employees are confounding, and their wings of knowledge clipped.


When a business faces problems, I see executives are overly busy trying to solve problems, and visible everywhere, and employees want to be invisible. They miss the opportunity to capitalize on invisible employee brains to innovate solutions  that would immensely help the organization in tough times. 


I wish that leaders believe more in their employees, and their unlimited hidden talents to innovate new solutions. Employees are challenged to make money in short term, instead of working on the priority projects for profitable growth. In the fast changing environment, we need to pay attention to demanding customers, and hidden talents of employees to deliver responsive solutions to the customer demands.


I wonder if any of my readers has felt ignored and discouraged at the workplace, or missed the opportunity to innovate a new solution using ones hidden talent. If yes, let’s talk.  .