Hands On

Sure, new ideas are important, but how do you get employees to set aside time to brainstorm? Debra Newton, CEO of Newton Interactive, in Pennington, N.J., designates certain days each quarter as "idea days" during which an entire department of employees will scan the Web researching the same topic and report back on what they have found. Newton says the research duties rotate through the company's departments and are particularly helpful in getting nontechnical people involved in idea generation. "I have a strong belief that everyone can participate in creative brainstorming," she says. "It's not always the creative director who's responsible for design changes." The research also helps the nontechies have informed discussions with clients.

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