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Michael Ryan

March 30, 2011 in Motivation, NPD

Back to school

I read this article this morning about how a school in Oxford are involving students in the selection process for new teachers. The school have created a student panel of over 13 year olds who form part of the interview process for potential new teachers.  The school has taken their lead from businesses and feel that the students’ involvement is a form of market research.  Their input is not taken lightly: “It’s a poor candidate who comes to this school and thinks the student panel is a push-over and whose opinions aren’t taken into consideration.”

If schools are taking their student’s opinions so seriously, how are you getting your employees involved in your organisation?

 “The more input we get from students the more likely we are to make a good decision.” Traditionally, Marketing and Sales have been the key drivers for delivering what the customer wants but everybody in your organisation is a consumer and therefore has a valid opinion on what makes an attractive product. By helping everybody to understand that they all responsible for product development and have an active role to play outside of their specific role or function, you can generate feedback on your own products.  This insight will help you ultimately help you to create better products. The school have also seen other benefits that last longer than the selection process itself.  “Not only does it give the students a sense of leadership and responsibility … but if they can see the strengths and the qualities of the teachers they will appreciate them more.” Likewise, including everybody your new product development creates a dialogue between the senior team and the rest of the organisation.  Showing people that their voice is important makes it easier to communicate your business strategy and develop widespread personal accountability for the delivery of your other company goals. Are you thinking of your employees as consumers?

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