The Idea Machine

October 23, 2012 No Comments

By Allen F. Weitzel

Blog Editor Allen F. Weitzel has been a trailblazer in the recreation field for 45 seasons, most recently leading the safety and training department at a California amusement park for 25 seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The masses have spoken. I received several emails suggesting that I tackle the subject of how to get suggestions heard and/or how to successfully implement change within an entrenched organization. They are sister subjects. I will try to cover a little ground on both.

Keep It Minimal

The easiest path to change or getting suggestions heard is to make sure you do not overwhelm the leaders of the organization. Only submit one or two ideas at a time. Research the need for your idea, consult with others, and then present a well- thought-out suggestion to the right person, who should receive the idea and champion it through acceptance. Whether suggesting a small idea or trying to change an organization that resists changes, work on one item at a time. If you have a multitude of suggested changes, then keep a list, and as time and conditions allow, submit items from your list one at a time.

Time To Grow

Allow time for your suggestion to be heard, accepted, modified (yes, modified), and implemented. Do not present doom and gloom when trying to sell your idea. Be factual and accurate in all your idea presentations. Know and remember your core facts because you will have to present your idea more than once. Do not worry if your idea is moving slowly up the chain of command. That means the idea still has a chance. If the idea stalls at the approval process, see if there are ways to make the plan clear cut and easier to accept.

Your Heart

Understand the objective of your suggestion. Take the emotion out of it. If your idea is moving along the trail of implementation, avoid sticking your nose into the process as it progresses. Others may be handling the idea implementation. They will decide how to tweak it, if necessary. If their changes do not harm the goal of the idea, then let the process proceed. Only step in if the idea has taken on a negative aura, and it is moving away from the primary goal.

Know the Players

Know the company staff members. Know who does and does not have power, who could destroy your idea, how to communicate and relate to each party, and who has the best interest of the organization in mind. Use select staff members as your ally in working toward change.

Educate

If it is in your authority to do so, educate the rest of the employees/organization on the goal of the idea, and how to handle the daily details, especially if the idea requires employee interaction with the guests.

Review

Once the idea is in place, monitor it to see if it is achieving its goals. To do this, make sure the idea or goal is measurable. You may not be the keeper of the flame when the idea is in place. Respect the person who is. However, from a distance, watch to see if the idea is working and only make comments (and to the right person) if the idea is failing. If someone else embraces the idea as their own and you get little credit, that is OK as long as the idea helps the company. If another staff member really takes charge, then step away. You will not be tied to it.

Eat Crow

If it is your idea, all others know it, and the idea fails, take the heat for the failure, even though others might have implemented the idea poorly. Additionally, do not brag about which successful ideas were yours.

Idea Machine

Do not become an idea machine. Do not create a flood of idea memos coming out of your office like the endless march of waves upon the seashore. If you suggest too many ideas, too soon, everyone will tire of your suggestions. You never want to paint a picture that you are the only one with good ideas. If you act like you are, you will be an idea person with no job or fellow workers to share them with.

Idea Theft

Do not get miffed if your idea gets stolen, it is still implemented, and it helps the company. Let it go. Now, if the same person(s) are constantly stealing your ideas and claiming them as their own, quietly take them aside and let them know that you are aware of their actions, and will correct their claims of origination of the idea if they do not start playing straight.

In The End

Not all suggested ideas will be accepted. Understand that fact. However, if all ideas for safety and company well being are ignored, decide if you need to find an operation that better matches your ethics and character.

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Formula K Raceways

Go-karts, kiddie cars and bumper boats, go-kart parts and tires.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

U.S. Bowling

Award-winning independent company brings bowling to your venue.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

Hamilton Manufacturing Corp.

Manufacturer of unattended entry systems and change machines.

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

Bulbtronics

A premier source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products.

Penny Press

Penny souvenir machine, great for parks, FECs, bowling and skating centers, museums and tourist attractions.

Empex Water Toys

Aquatons Water Toys

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Playsmart

Patented soft play design, soft playgrounds.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Enchanted Castle Studios

Fiberglass statuary and figures for restaurants, mini-golf, theme parks and other attractions.

California Portable Dance Floor Company

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

Splashtacular

Manufacturer of waterslides

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Action Lighting Co.

Lighting supplies.

Tokens Direct

A wide variety of tokens.

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Barron Games

Redemption air hockey games.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

Castle Golf, Inc.

Planning, design and construction of miniature golf courses and family fun parks.

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Berk Paper & Supply

Concession supplies.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

Rio Syrup

Over 250 flavors, syrups and concentrates for shaved ice, sno cones, shushes, food colors. Now featuring Hawaiian Flower Cups.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Lil Orbits Inc.

Food equipment, donut machines and vendor carts.

Stoelting
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation
Empex Water Toys