This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
André Kölsch got the idea quite spontaneously. At the last SMA company meeting, he just wanted to get something to drink when it was time for audience questions. But for some reason, this employee from the mail department walked up to the microphone instead. “I have a big mouth anyway, and thought I’d just go for it,” he told me later. André had been thinking about ways to improve the company and presented a few suggestions about things he wanted to see changed. “This is how you could save money in a number of areas,” he said. Pierre Pascal Urbon, Speaker for the SMA Managing Board, though André’s ideas were excellent and promptly invited him to a meeting to further discuss his suggestions.
Suggestions for Improvement
Shortly after the company meeting, many colleagues came up to speak with André. “Are you really going to speak to the Managing Board?”, “Did you mean that seriously?”, “That’s really courageous of you!”, were just a few of the reactions. Many, though, also gave him additional suggestions and ideas for improvement to pass on at the meeting, although he had already prepared a number of points himself. “On my mail route, I cover a lot of ground and get to see a lot of the company,” says the 29 year old. “I’m always noticing things which could be improved upon.”
To The Board with 11 Points
A few weeks later, it was time for the meeting. André sat in the executive office with a list of 11 suggestions. He worked through the list together with Pierre-Pascal Urbon. André reported, “It was really great! Mr. Urbon spent a lot of time with me and wrote down every suggestion I had in detail.” For most points, Mr. Urban was able to give him feedback directly. Urbon thought André had a number of great ideas, several of which he wanted to discuss with the involved parties following the meeting, and he was able to explain why a few of the ideas would be difficult to achieve for whatever reason. Our colleague from the mail department reported, „I’m very excited to see what will come of my ideas, and will soon ask how things are coming. And, of course, I will continue to keep my eyes peeled for even more suggestions to pass along.“