March Madness a Boon to Your Business? Absolutely!
March Madness is known to many of us for intra-office bracket tournaments and lost productivity. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates U.S. businesses could lose as much as $1.3 billion in wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers.
What if we embraced the madness, and channeled the energy around the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament into making the company more productive? That is exactly what GreatAmerica has done for the past couple years, and you can do the same thing.
Why This Works
Team members working closest with your processes are going to face challenges throughout their day, and typically they’ll be customer-facing challenges. This is handled in one of four ways:
- Quietly endure the pain
- Grumble and gripe every time it happens
- Suggest a solution to their leader
- Implement the solution.
Since number 4 is rare in many organizations, March Madness is a way to stimulate implementation through internal competition.
How March Madness at GreatAmerica Works
True to “continuous improvement” form, our competition changes each year, but the basics are the same. Split your company up into manageable teams and ask them to come up with three ideas that address processes, customer experience or internal training. Each team has ten minutes to present their best idea to an un-biased panel who determines a winner for each round.
This criteria is used to judge the ideas:
- Must address a pain point for the business
- Must be practical and demonstrate common sense
- Must not already be in development
- Must be beneficial to our customers, team members, and business
By the end of the tournament, you will have gathered ideas from all over the company for improvement – many of which are immediately actionable.
While fresh ideas are great, the most important result is cultivating innovation within your organization. This architecture of participation may be just what your team members need to feel inspired and begin to view everyday obstacles as opportunities.
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