Let Everyone Have Ideas March 26 2006 NYT

Let Everyone Have Ideas March 26 2006 NYT - March 26, 2006...

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March 26, 2006 Under New Management Here's an Idea: Let Everyone Have Ideas By WILLIAM C. TAYLOR LIKE many top executives, James R. Lavoie and Joseph M. Marino keep a close eye on the stock market. But the two men, co-founders of Rite-Solutions, a software company that builds advanced — and highly classified — command-and-control systems for the Navy, don't worry much about Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange . Instead, they focus on an internal market where any employee can propose that the company acquire a new technology, enter a new business or make an efficiency improvement. These proposals become stocks, complete with ticker symbols, discussion lists and e-mail alerts. Employees buy or sell the stocks, and prices change to reflect the sentiments of the company's engineers, computer scientists and project managers — as well as its marketers, accountants and even the receptionist. "We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here," Mr. Lavoie, the chief executive, said during an interview at Rite-Solutions' headquarters outside Newport, R.I. "At most companies, especially technology companies, the most brilliant insights tend to come from people other than senior management. So we created a marketplace to harvest collective genius." That's a refreshing dose of humility from a successful C.E.O. with decades of experience in his field. (Mr. Lavoie, 59, is a Vietnam War veteran and an accomplished engineer who has devoted his career to military-oriented technologies.) Most companies operate under the assumption that big ideas come from a few big brains: the inspired founder, the eccentric inventor, the visionary boss. But there's a fine line between individual genius and know-it-all arrogance. What happens when rivals become so numerous, when technologies move so quickly, that no corporate honcho can think of everything? Then it's time to invent a less top-down approach to innovation, to make it everybody's business to come up with great ideas. That's a key lesson behind the rise of open source technology, most notably Linux. A ragtag army of
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2010 for the course MIS 301 taught by Professor Mccleod during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Let Everyone Have Ideas March 26 2006 NYT - March 26, 2006...

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