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Published On: Fri, Apr 28th, 2017

The Ford Innovation Example

Innovation is something that all companies should embrace, but very few do. It is understandable that they don’t embrace it, because management is often fearful of the opinions of those hierarchically beneath them, and everybody is resistant to change. That said, without innovation, a company stands still and can no longer grow. The reality is also that even the largest companies, with a presence all over the globe, have installed innovation software nowadays, and they have had tremendous successes with it. As a result, smaller companies should take a leaf out of the book of the giants, and start to grow themselves. A great example of that is provided by Ford.

innovation sign

photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay.com

The Ford Example

Car manufacturers the world over have gone through significant changes as of late. New technology has advanced very rapidly and this means that both existing and upcoming companies are finding it increasingly difficult to stay ahead. At the same time, the playing field has been levelled, because startup companies have the same opportunities as huge giants to use technology to their advantage. And by taking the opportunity to uncover new ideas, they can ensure that they are always relevant.

Ford, meanwhile, is the company responsible for the invention of the assembly line, which was used on their Model T. Since its inception, Ford has been both innovative and engaging. For instance, during the Ford T model, everyone working on the assembly line was able to own a Ford! Their focus has always been, and continues to be, on being inventive. To do this, they have launched a range of internal activities. One of those is to ensure every employee can express their thoughts on issues relevant to the company as a whole.

The result of this is nothing short of fantastic. Various reports have shown that, in 2015 alone, some 5,500 employees of Ford submitted ideas. 2,200 of these were from first time investors. Since January 2015, over 4,000 first time inventors have been able to present ideas. Those numbers are huge! It does not mean that every idea was a good one, or that it was implemented. It does, however, mean that everybody, throughout the organization, has been able to contribute. And what this meant for Ford, was that they were able to effectively crowdfund across the entire knowledge of their employees. Every Ford employee, in other words, is seen as a potential inventor.

This level of employee engagement is rare, but more should strive towards achieving it. The idea management process that Ford employees has delivered tremendous results, which have, in turn, delivered increased profits. With engaged employees, the company has been able to meet all its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) year on year, and has seen a massive return on investment on their innovation software.

It should come as no surprise that KPIs are met as a result of idea management. What is surprising is that so few companies besides Ford have truly embraced this, and implemented it into their own company.

Author: Anwar Hossain

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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