Advancing innovation with a “Mutual Fun” market

Jim Lavoie, CEO of the technology firm Rite-Solutions, built something called a “Mutual Fun” market within the company’s intranet that has three indices employees can invest in—Savings Bonds for ideas on saving costs, Bow Jones for ideas on extending existing products, and Spazdaq for new product concepts. Any Rite-Solutions employee can suggest a new idea in any of these markets. Workers can also view the “prospectus of ideas,” invest play money in them, and even sign up to complete any tasks necessary to make those concepts reality. As Lavoie said in a recent online interview with the nonprofit Business Innovation Factory: “We believe the next brilliant idea is going to come from somebody other than senior management, and unless you’re trying to harvest those ideas, you’re not going to get them….That’s why we give everybody an equal voice, and a game to provoke their intellectual curiosity.”

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