Our Idea Harvest™

Idea Harvest™ is a powerful continuous improvement process that solves the three most common problems that senior leaders face when they want to further reduce costs.


Problem 1

Just cutting costs weakens the company

Too often, processes used to reduce costs produce actions that also weaken the company. In the name of reducing costs, leaders find themselves with no alternative to increasing workloads, and degrading the customer experience. Idea Harvest™ solves this problem by putting the tools and process in place to ensure that senior leaders are given smart alternatives – actions that reduce costs while strengthening the company. By eliminating unnecessary work, simplifying processes, and matching the right tasks to the right people, actions can be taken that dramatically reduce costs while reducing workloads, and improving customer service. For example, a retail bank used Idea Harvest™ to develop ideas that eliminated and simplified so much work in their retail branches that entirely new staffing models could be used to ensure more customer facing personnel during peak hours while savings millions. Employees had better jobs and could focus on the customer; customers were served sooner and controls were tightened.

Problem 2

Engaging employees is too hard

Employees have the information and insight needed to reduce costs while strengthening the company. The problem is that traditional processes – be it six sigma, activity valuation processes, lean, A3, and so on – simply take too much time and effort to reach deeply into the organization or broadly across functions. So employees with good ideas are not reached. Idea Harvest™ solves this problem by providing a remarkably efficient decision making process. Internal experts can get to the heart of the matter quickly and build consensus all while still meeting their other responsibilities. For example, a manufacturer used the Idea Harvest™ principles to generate and evaluate thousands of ideas from employees in many countries in a few months while still meeting all of their budget targets and customer needs.

Problem 3

Continuous improvement requires continuous support

Continuous improvement does not happen by itself just because it is a good idea. It also doesn’t happen by just creating an Office of Continuous Improvement. Continuous improvement, like any other business process, must be truly built into the fabric of corporate decision-making. Accountability must be clear; rewards and recognition must be clear; and most importantly, the tools for success must be provided. Idea Harvest™ solves this problem by providing all of the required support down to the last detail – from the technology to the templates to the training. With a proven structure and new skills in place, leaders can focus on running the company. For example, a document management company used Idea Harvest™ to generate and approve new ideas every month that reduced costs while making it easier for customers to do business with them.

Idea Harvest™ is a state of the art continuous improvement technique to grow revenue. Most companies spend a lot of time and effort on big projects – launching new products, investing in marketing campaigns, building customer profitability systems, and entering new markets.

The “top of the house” projects receive funding, attention, and support. But what about the hundreds of insights and ideas that employees in the middle and bottom of the organization have to make small, but practical, improvements which collectively can be faster, less risky, and provide even bigger results than many of the “big projects”?


Engaging experts spread far and wide

In large companies experts with great insights are spread across organizational units, functions, and locations. Idea Harvest™ provides an easy way to engage experts – be it across the hallway or across the globe – who can devise practical actions to increase revenue.

Achieving great insights without having great data

The most common complaint when trying to solve revenue problems is “we have reams of data – little of which is useful! We need CRM and profitability models and better market research and …!” Using our problem solving techniques, teams can now learn practical ways to get insight without having that all singing, all dancing database. If this is intriguing, ask us about the “candy wrapper” analysis!

Creating accountability

When everyone is accountable, no one is accountable. Let’s take an example. In your largest line of business, who is accountable for reducing the attrition rate of profitable customers? If the answer is every sales person and sales manager then no one is really accountable for solving the problem. Who is accountable for increasing the cross-selling of specific products to specific customer segments? If there isn’t one person then there isn’t really anyone.

Idea Harvest™ is a state of the art continuous improvement technique used to provide your customers the best possible experience.
Creating a great customer experience is the holy grail of business. Using Idea Harvest™, senior leaders can focus on improving the customer experience.
Idea Harvest™ solves three problems senior leaders face in their pursuit of creating a customer experience that makes a difference by:


Taking a holistic view

The best customer experience is designed by understanding how customer perceive the experience holistically including how they feel about sales, marketing, products, pricing, transactions, inquiries, and payments.

Creating new measurements

The analysis of the customer experience is too often stymied by measurements such as “customer satisfaction” that do not provide actionable insight. With Idea Harvest™ teams quickly develop “rough and ready” measurements that finally give real insight.

Creating the right team

Solving the customer experience problem holistically requires establishing the right team of experts from across the company, the right mandate, and the right level of accountability to develop practical steps to continuously improve the customer experience.


Is it a good thing that your call center associates are experts at resolving problems?
That’s a trick question. Sure, it’s important that any problems are resolved quickly. But surely you want your call center to provide great customer experience making sales, not solving problems that should have been avoided in the first place. If your people are great at resolving problems, maybe they are getting too much experience at it! Idea Harvest will help solve the problems at the source so fewer problems happen in the first place.

Are you thoroughly training your front line in how to deliver the customer experience?
This is another trick question. Each employee in your company has a customer whether it is internal or external. Your front line is as much as FIVE times as likely to deliver a good experience to your external

customers if they have received good service from your back office. Designing back office processes so that the back office provides good service is just as important as training the front line.

Have you ever slept in your own guest room?
No, we are not asking if your spouse has kicked you out after a fight! Regular hosts of overnight guests are told to spend a night in their guest room and take a shower in their guest bath so that they can see from their guests’ point of view what is needed. Need a tissue? A reading light? Those things might go unnoticed if all the host does is check to the see that the room is clean and tidy. The same concept applies to reviewing your corporation. All processes, purchases, hires and certainly all new ideas should be reviewed from the customer’s point of view. Does your continuous improvement process do this?