37Signals has an article on the Signal vs. Noise blog about the Secrets To Amazons Success. Its a good read.
People’s side projects, the one’s they follow because they are interested, are often ones where you get the most value and innovation. Never underestimate the power of wandering where you are most interested.
Innovation can only come from the bottom. Those closest to the problem are in the best position to solve it. any organization that depends on innovation must embrace chaos. Loyalty and obedience are not your tools.
Everyone must be able to experiment, learn, and iterate. Position, obedience, and tradition should hold no power. For innovation to flourish, measurement must rule.
Check out the full article. There’s a lot there, most of which sounds like it comes straight out of lean books I have read. These three, however, are key for me. People are the greatest asset, and the things that they are passionate enough to “play” with are the key things that foster innovation. You just have to learn to trust them enough to let them play, and release some of the structure that “mature” companies think they require.
Another example of how Amazon gets it.