Some of the best ideas for your business’s future may be in the minds of your staff.
But how do you tap into those ideas?
Over the years suggestion boxes in staff kitchens have worked to some extent. But these do not allow ideas to be built upon and expanded. There is limited visibility of suggestions by others in the business.
Use a Future Wall
If you have renovated a house or built a new house you may have created a “mood board” with pictures, cloth swatches, paint samples etc that you might use.
A Future Wall is similar.
It is a place, physical and/or virtual, where you and your staff post ideas about potential futures for your organisation. Whether it be pictures, articles, quotes, ideas, goals.
Your Future Wall will be unique just as your business is unique.
No two Future Walls are the same. It will evolve and develop.
For some businesses it is only used during strategic planning periods. While for others it becomes part of their day to day culture with a constant gathering of ideas to shape the business.
A Future Wall may be used company-wide or just in certain sections of the business.
Why Have a Future Wall?
Future Walls are a fun way to engage with your staff, especially during times of major change or planning. It’s an opportunity for staff to think about your business creatively.
You might be surprised the talent that you will uncover. Staff across the business can come together to share ideas and make suggestions that may not be in their “area”.
This can help break down silos between teams.
A Future Wall can encourage continuous improvement and innovation. You can gather ideas that you and your leadership team may not have thought of.
How Do You Create a Future Wall?
Your Future Wall can be physical, for example a pinboard/whiteboard in the staff room. Or it can be virtual. There are multiple online tools which can be used as forums. You can also set up a chat space on your intranet. Or you may choose to do both.
The physical and the virtual Future Wall’s each have their own benefits.
A physical wall in a location regularly visited by all staff keeps it front of mind. If you have multiple sites, you might have multiple Future Walls, one on each site.
A virtual wall is great for businesses with staff working remotely. It also provides a place for staff to post materials they find on the internet.
You might want to have both a physical and a virtual.
Making your Future Wall a success!
The key to the success of your Future Wall is creating excitement for participating and shared ownership of the wall across the organisation.
- In the early days this may be achieved with fun competitions. For example, offering movie tickets for the most creative, or most original idea.
- Encourage managers to include time at the wall in their team meetings.
Set up a team with people from multiple areas and levels of the business to gather and collate the information posted on the wall. This can then be communicated back to everyone.
For the Future Wall to be sustainable staff need to see that their ideas are being considered and used to shape the future. Again, this can be by leadership stand ups at the wall and leadership communications on how an idea has been adopted.
Would you like to encourage your staff to become more engaged in the business and collaborate on how to build into an even better business than it is today? Create a Future Wall.
If you would like help setting up a Future Wall that fits your unique business give the E2E The Change Agency Team a call.