One of the challenges of working in sales or any occupation is swapping ideas. Some of us like to jealously guard our ideas and not share them with our co-workers or upper management. Others are very open about exchanging ideas. And finally, there are a few who are reluctant to make suggestions for fear of being criticized or fired.
In the spirit of National Swap Ideas Day (which is held every September 10th), let’s make this a day of openly exchanging ideas and suggestions with one another.
Based on my research, no one knows the exact origin of National Swap Ideas Day. However, some believe it was created by Robert Louis Birch, who is also credited for creating other strange holidays including “Lumpy Rug Day,” “Trivia Day,” and “Nothing Day.” Mr. Birch was a retired librarian from the U.S. Patent Office Scientific Library and the National Agricultural Library.
The obvious purpose of National Swap Ideas Day is to get everyone to share thoughts and concepts. This can be done on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment. There are no rules, so everyone is encouraged to be creative and think outside the box. For those who may too shy about offering their ideas, maybe you should create a permanent suggestion box in the office.
To learn more about making suggestions in the workplace, please check out this post from Six Sigma Online (Aveta Business Institute) called “Demonstrations of Success – How to Correctly Offer Suggestions in the Workplace.” And here’s another post from Think IT Association called “5 Ways to Offer Suggestions to Your Supervisor (without getting fired!).”
To help you further, please read The Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power in Bottom-Up Ideas by Alan G. Robinson and Dean M. Schroeder.
They make the argument that employees can offer insights to help make a business grow and become more successful.
And finally, to make the day even more interesting, there is actually a hashtag that you can use on Twitter – #NationalSwapIdeasDay.