Ford re-Kindles Innovation By Rewarding Engineer Creativity
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The automotive industry is in a state of flux trying to redefine itself and develop new business markets. While GM prides itself for record-breaking profits and being the number one car sales company again, Ford is betting on innovations and creativity. The company has shown not only resiliency in the midst of one of the worse economic downturn ever but has also proven it can reinvent itself to go forward. By focusing on new ideas, better designs, smarter features, Ford is aiming to boost sales and customer satisfaction. The numbers speak for themselves, Ford was able to increase its new inventions by 17% in less than a year.
TechShop Foster Dynamism. Bill Coughlin, CEO of Ford Global Technology, had an idea that triggered what the company calls the TechShop experiment. This new business managed by Mark Hatch is basically a memberships selling group that fosters enthusiasm amongst engineers. Ford offers a free 3-month membership to anyone who can submit a good idea. The idea behind started when the cost of prototyping machinery came down, making a Tech Shop a great place to foster innovations and turn them into reality. By emulating an open environment that engages people’s sense of creativity, it fosters encouragement that helps future and unnoticed inventors, while counseling, mentoring and guiding them to the fruition of their ideas.
The Right Environment Benefits The Automotive World. With the fundamental assumption that everyone is creative under the right circumstances, it creates the perfect space to spark and trigger ideas outside the confinement of corporate life, while giving a chance to those who might not think themselves resourceful. The added incentive for Ford is raising productivity and the real gem to employee satisfaction and retention, enthusiasm.
When Corporate Gets It. My last meeting with Neil Schloss, vice president and treasurer for Ford Motor Company, left me with the image of a company that really gets it at the corporate level. It confirmed that not only Ford is on the right track, as the numbers have shown but also the way to go for modern companies wishing to continue their climb upward, or cement their leader position.
More than ever, this is what America needs. By rekindling its roots into innovation, creating environments that foster creativity, it will be able to not only surmount the economic quagmire but also reclaim its global place as a leader. In the meantime, Tech Shops are a great way to rekindle creativity at the workspace.