Structured Communication

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Learning how to flesh out ideas is a critical aspect of structured communication. If we can’t rethink and refine our ideas then we'll never be able to convince anyone that they might be worth pursuing.
In your own document, write out an idea. It can be big, small, stupid, or poignant. For example: “install an employee suggestion box in the break room.”
Once you have an idea, go through the process of fleshing it out. Here’s a quick rundown of the process. It should take about 30 minutes:
1. What does this idea fix?
Install a suggestion box in the break room fixes employee satisfaction.
2. Does the idea impact the bottom line?
Installing a suggestion box fixes employee satisfaction and improves employee retention, saving the company money.
3. Come up with alternative ideas.
Instead of a suggestion box, we could ask for suggestions during one-on-one meetings.
4. Then create a list of pros and cons for both the original idea and the secondary idea.
Suggestion Box
Suggestions During Meetings
Allows for anonymity.
Allows for ideas to flow upward.

Creates accountability
Management can provide feedback and guidance.
Managers may believe the process undercuts their authority.
Hard to give guidance and feedback.
Employees may not feel they can be honest.
Zero anonymity.
There are no rows in this table

5. Finally, create a new idea that combines the best of both ideas.

Create an employee suggestion box program and have people sign their names on their suggestions so that management can give private feedback at a later date.
The above example may not be the best idea, but the process is the same for good ideas and bad ideas. The point is to learn how to flesh out ideas so you can help employees do the same.
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