I would have a policy like Hewlett-Packard had when I worked there, before starting Apple. They encouraged you to work on little inventions of your own, and you would get some financial support from the company to build them. The company benefits in two ways. You’re becoming better at designing things for the company because you’ll force yourself to learn ways to solve your own problems and you’ll carry the quality of this design work over to your work for the company. But also, if you come up with something that is worth a lot of money, there may be a spin-off and the company would get a good share of this new business. That kind of support policy can be implemented very openly at some companies. Stock rooms should be open for engineers so you can use the parts for your own designs. If this happens, and your mind can take flight, you’re going to love your company more.
Source: “Creating Great Products with Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Inventor of the Personal Computer”
Original Publication: Babson Insight
Subjects: Human Resources, Management, Organizational Behavior