Companies strive to tap workers' collective intelligence

09/9/2010 | Bloomberg Businessweek

Many companies are seeking to harness their workforces' collective intelligence in a bid to spur innovation. Companies such as Cisco, Wal-Mart, Pitney Bowes and AT&T all have programs in place that explicitly ask workers to find solutions to big problems that the companies are wrestling with; the solutions are often faster and more effective than those produced by dedicated innovation divisions. "It goes far beyond management deciding to change and to innovate," says Pitney Bowes CEO Murray Martin. "There are so many good ideas that could be acted on that are with the people who are right there every day, dealing with customers."

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