As everyone knows, industrial relations in the London Underground tend towards the sensitive.
Yet the people who keep the system running are among the most committed and long-serving in the country, which makes them the ideal source for suggestions as to how to make things work better and more efficiently.
Suggestions boxes had been tried; when we first met, they’d had just ten suggestions in the previous year, none of which were printable.
What could we do with £10K? Enter Brian, Oscar’s little fat brother.
- Standing for Bright Relevant Ideas Actively Noticed and handily an anagram of BRAIN, BRIAN is an awards system. It promises cash prizes and recognition for anyone producing a winning suggestion. Presented as a free-standing concept, there’s not a whiff of management about his being.
Supported with posters and leaflets throughout the Underground, it produced more the 100 solid proposals in its first month alone.
The first statuette winner came up with an idea for replacing broken carriage windows that saved the London Underground more than a quarter of a million pounds a year in its first year.
Just goes to show; the right idea, in the right place, with the right tone of voice and almost anything’s possible.