Here’s the editorial for SSC today and while it’s a humorous story about asking for donuts and getting a free breakfast for everyone, it’s also a cautionary tale for those trying to do good as managers, and even for employees submitting suggestions.
Looking back, I still think it was a fair suggestion in response to a request for ideas, I think putting a couple dozen whatevers on the CIO’s desk every Fri morning is a great way to encourage cross team chat, and a chance for the CIO to get some face time with people they don’t get to see as much as they’d like.
At the time money was plentiful and so throwing cash at the idea to satisfy those who wanted yogurt, but in leaner times, could the goal still be accomplished? I think so, and one easy way might be to:
Beyond breakfast though, this can happen with any idea. Start with a basic idea and before you send it in, stop and think about it. What is the real cost? Who will do the work to make it happen? Is it inclusive, or just something that benefits a small subset? Can you find a way to derive more than just good will from it?
Of course, Steve Jones should have posted this on Friday with a coupon for all the SSC readers to get a free donut!