Who invented frappuccino? – A Starbucks employee in Southern California trying to beat the heat without giving up the caffeine boost.
Who invented iPod’s circular dial? – An Apple employee playing with a number lock at home.
Who invented furniture in a box? – An Ikea employee who couldn’t re-load the furniture back into the truck after a photo shoot.
Who invented masking tape? – A 3M employee who saw car painters struggling to mask parts and how much effort it took to paint in straight lines.
Who invented the world’s most popular news aggregator? – A Google employee who was interested in global news after the September 11 attacks.
Who invented pointy nose bullet trains? – An automotive engineer fishing at a local pond who saw a Kingfisher diving to catch a fish without making a splash.
Okay, I will stop right here. You get the idea.
Are you capturing your employees’ ideas? Do your employees submit ideas that could benefit your company and customers? Have you created means for your employees to submit ideas? Are you celebrating employee ideas to encourage more ideas?
Companies like 3M, Apple, Google, GoreTex, Pixar, Procter & Gamble, Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, Toyota, WholeFoods, and countless others have built vast empires by empowering their employees to submit and develop ideas. You too can do the same.
All you have to do is “ask.” Create a formal program to solicit ideas from employees.