Workshop III: “Ideas management”

  • (5) (Mainz)
  • (1) (Quimonda)
  • (1) (Sweden)
  • (1) (Mitterteich)
  • (2) (Grünenplan)
  • SCHOTT AG, Mainz,
  • September 7– 8, 2008
  • First concept for European corporate guideline
    • not describing the current state, but drafting targeted state, which rests on supranational basic understanding
  • The SCHOTT Management Board welcomes the attempt at finding a supranational regulation for ideas management.
  • The boundary conditions and requirements for a supranational ideas management concept have been worked out.
  • A committee has been formed in order to draft a supranational European regulation for ideas management in the SCHOTT Group until the end of 2009.


  • Welcome, opening, KL comments on the workshop
  • IBS SCHOTT AG, statistical evaluation, “Facts and Figures"
  • WS A: Positive and negative experiences
  • Current SCHOTT practice, results of the EF questionnaire
  • WS B: Expectations, wishes, ideas, ...
  • Experiences at Siemens/Qimonda
  • National and EU boundary conditions
  • WS C: Comparison / summing up “models”
  • Improvements – ideas of colleagues
  • WS D: Supranational components of an EU agreement
  • EU agreement “Step 1”

Summary of comments by Management Board Member

  • Change in the industry: no longer working time but productivity important, also in production
  • Cultural change, e.g. working time honor system at SCHOTT
  • Trustful cooperation is a prerequisite;
    problems if there is no trust between employees and management
  • Europe: Western Europe too expensive, Eastern Europe is catching up,
    => increasingly difficult to stay competitive with European production sites
  • Creativity and inventiveness => Europe stays competitive; only then!
  • Ideas management as important as “Zero Accidents, you are important to me”
  • Importance of ideas: P. Scarborough monthly presents high bonuses in person
  • Drivers are dedicated, committed executives,
  • i.e., ideas management is not the instrument, but is leadership competence
  • Ideas management requires mutual respect and trust between employees and management

Number: suggestion for improvement/employees – SCHOTT AG

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Benefit: savings per employee – SCHOTT AG [€]

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Workshop A

Workshop A: Positive experiences
  • Change in leading position
    • in 2 units (Mainz)
    • esp. managers promote IBS
  • Leadership behavior
    • Mainz - high priority
    • Qimonda - strong back-up by Management Board
  • Actions
    • food vouchers, Christmas geese, theater tickets
  • Competitions, suggested topics
    • bring about considerable improvement
  • Positive atmosphere at workplace, in department/unit
    • encourages active thinking
    • => enjoyment of work
  • Site-specific adequate evaluation / bonus
  • Participation
    • Mainz 40%
    • Qimonda = 40%
    • Thermofrost = 40-50%
  • Good participation brings about success!
  • Joint action of KL + works council = success
    • Thermofrost
      4 meeting /year, union and employer, more possible?
  • Inclusion of number of ideas in bonus calculation
    • increase in number of suggestions, but not necessarily increase in quality (3/m -> 10-25/m)
  • Faster processing of improvement suggestions by IBS representative
Workshop A: Negative experiences
  • Implementation, realization
    • sometimes refused because of lacking budget
  • Evaluation
    • sometimes superficial
  • Bonus
    • difficult if benefit not countable
  • Acceptance (by management)
    • IBS sometimes seen as a personal affront
    • e.g., when craftsmen/service people make improvement suggestions
  • Envy ?!
  • Leadership
    • Thermofrost:
      IBS is not a priority
  • Processing takes too long
  • No workflow with mail system
    • may cause longer handling time/ delays
    • long handling time because of expert
    • slow realization by service departments
  • Changes in management
    • number of suggestions drops if/because not yet fully accepted by employees
  • Mass not class
    • overburdened experts (70 expert’s reports)
    • overburdened controllers
      (period 1-2 years)
  • Site-specific evaluation / bonus
    • bonuses are too small
Experiences at Siemens/Qimonda
  • Ideas management works worldwide because every employee has ideas
  • Recognition is important to any generator of ideas, but not necessarily (only) in the form of money
  • Germany is one country among others, not the measure of all things
  • Involve employees representation in the formulation of the worldwide corporate guideline from the beginning, thus precluding the necessity of alterations after (?!) finalization
  • Period 1-2 years after mandate of the Management Board
National and EU boundary conditions
  • National laws, financial regulations
    • Germany
      • Employee inventors law
      • Tax exempt for small bonuses
    • Hungary
      • Special tax for shopping vouchers

  • no EU regulation existing

Workshop B : Expectations, wishes, ideas, ...

  • EDV system
  • mini steps (small ESS*)
  • actions
  • suggested topics
  • exchange between sites
  • fixed responsibilities
  • clear evaluation criteria, evaluation system, team factor
(* ESS = employee suggestion system)

  • “unsuitable managers” as IBS responsibles
  • long time for expert’s reports, “easy” extensions
  • include “leadership” in target agreements
    IBS index as instrument for gauging leadership performance
  • provide resources for IBS responsible
  • standard procedure for all SCHOTT sites
  • exchange of ideas and measures between sites
  • exchange of “smart idea”, solutions for Germany/EU
  • mandatory training of experts
  • backing, coordination, support, and if required, dismissal or new appointment of IBS teams
  • simplified calculation of benefit
  • emphasis on appreciation, not on bonus

Workshop C: Comparison / summing up “models"

What should be retained by all means?
  • common (benefit) evaluation system, simple point system?!
  • IBS responsible for Germany, also for EU
  • fairness, equal treatment
What should be abolished by all means?
  • over-regulation
What must be changed?
  • central budget for bonus payment
  • reminder management, escalation rules
  • not necessarily a standardized bonus system
    calculate monetary value from points by applying regional tables?!
  • culture-specific provisions

Workshop D: Supranational components of EU agreement

What should be definitely arranged on a supranational level?
  • What is successful?
  • What is possible in all countries?
  • What has to be modified in order to become regulable on a supranational level?
  • What has to be “invented” for this purpose?
What can be regulated in national supplements only?
  • What is impossible in some countries?
Further wishes for a supranational ideas management?
  • How can we turn a European ideas management into a success story for SCHOTT?
  • What further requirements do we have?
What should be definitely arranged on a supranational level?
  • Each site must implement an ideas management.
  • Common basic understanding
    • what is an idea, mini step
    • handling of suggestions
    • differentiation from, respectively inclusion of, regular work tasks
    • evaluation rules
      calling in of specialized experts
    • minimum motivation
    • characteristics (e.g. handling time)
  • Responsibilities
    • overall responsibility (one person)
    • central budget
    • evaluation committee
    • conflict center
  • Reporting
    • who to whom?
What should be definitely arranged on a supranational level?
  • Common database
    • in English, software solution
    • exchange of ideas
    • multiple use
  • Declaration of commitment by management, cascading down from KL
    • all employees have ideas, worldwide;
    • recognition and approval increase motivation and achievement = net benefit
    • no restriction to “voluntary agreement of management“
  • Job description of managers includes ideas management
  • Mandatory training for management, experts, and database admin
What can be regulated in national supplements only?
  • Manner of recognition, bonuses
  • Bonus rate
    (to be definitely distinguished from standard evaluation!)
  • Payment of bonuses
    • consideration of tax laws (Germany, Hungary, …)
    • provision / securing of budgets
  • Link-up with central bonus/action budget
  • Evaluation procedure
  • Local responsibility
  • Direct representation of local employee interests in employer <> employees dialog
    • involvement of employees representation mandatory at all sites
  • Software (language!)
  • Special actions
    (cultural differences, acceptances, weightings)
Further wishes for a supranational ideas management?
  • Common drive
    • realization at all sites
  • Support by Management Board:
    • open
    • public
    • explicit
    • sustained

Next steps

  • First concept for European corporate guideline
    • not describing the current state,
      but drafting the targeted state, which rests on supranational basic understanding
  • Negotiations committee (5 members)
  • Supranational ideas management SCHOTT Group
    • Presentation at the next EuroForum in November 2009