Additional qualification? – Management Consultant!
That Krones is a company with highly impressive training capabilities is presumably not news to you. But that in our firm each and every employee not only goes about his/her “normal” job, but at the same time is also a management consultant, may prove a surprise to one or two of you.
For several years now, in the shape of the “Ideenraum” (Brain Pool), Krones AG has had a software-based system designed to put questions involving innovation and improvement to precisely those who know best: our own staff.
Whenever one of our Krones community discovers an option for improving the status quo, he or she can send this via the Ideenraum to his/her direct line superior, who will then assess the idea concerned and subsequently support its implementation. The Ideenraum is designed to make sure that every step involved in processing the idea is transparently documented, and that no idea is overlooked either.
As you can probably imagine, it’s anything but easy, among more than 12,000 staff, to find the particular one who is able to assess whether a suggestion has merit, to appraise its cost/benefit ratio, and decide on the “how and when” of its implementation. It’s here that what Krones AG calls its “Idea Coordinators” come onto play.
In each Product Line, there is at least one idea coordinator as a contact person, whom the submitters of ideas, the idea assessors or the managers concerned can bombard with questions. “How do I formulate the idea to best effect?”, “Who is responsible?”, or “Has there been an idea like this before?” are the most frequently asked questions in this context. Since the Idea Coordinators are networked with each other (on a concomitantly cross-product-line basis). It usually doesn’t take long before the right person is found and the idea can be properly looked at.
There’s a rather special honour in store for the person submitting the “Idea of the Year”. Besides a detailed presentation of the idea concerned in Krones’ internal media, the Executive Board Chairman also takes the time in person to tell the winner of his appreciation over a shared lunch. Now that’s what I call an incentive!
The German version of the article also features two short films in German about our “Idea Coordinator” Katarina Maihoefner and about the “Idea of the Year” 2011.