Where the Ideas Hide
In large organizations, the people with the power are so consumed by their schedules and job demands that they lack the perspective of those who are within but looking upward.
The latter have the perspective and the ideas, but they lack the power.
That's why talking to the folks in the mailroom or the person who climbs the poles or the new management assistant makes sense. It's not some glad-handing political stunt; it's a way of picking up different perspectives.
Over time, the astute executive or manager who knows how to listen for what is meant and not just to what is said will strike gold in those meetings.