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Michelin's Culture of Ideas

Interesting comment here on Fast Company Now

Francois Michelin, founder of Michelin tire company, once made an interesting observation. Whenever he met Michelin retirees, he liked to ask them what they remembered most fondly about working at his company. Almost always the retiree talked of an idea he or she had proposed, and that the company had used. Francois Michelin came to realize that the reason why people remembered their ideas in this context was that these were how his employees felt they had left their mark on the company. Ideas were their chance to make a difference. Michelin was the first company in France to start an idea system, which was getting some 15 ideas per employee per year by 1933, a lot better than most companies do today.
I read this and thought wow. And then I thought,. "Eh? Really? Are we getting less imaginative?"

It'd be lovely to get some context on this - such as incentives, how many ideas were followed through, the system they had for sharing ideas etc.


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The NA Michelin AG program was launched with the full support of Francois Michelin. It was the time Product management was in full bloom thanks to Edouard's forward thinking. There was very little hope for the American farmenrs to enjoy the Michelin AG benefits or the complementary BFG Farm program with the bureaucracts jamming up the middle.
The term NIH (not invented here)sounds loud in the halls of Clermont! Too bad!
The best description of incentative: "No good deed goes unpunished."

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