Today Forbes featured an article about Dominos pizza where one of their sharp-witted employees created a new snack that consumers are crazy over. It was great coverage of how innovation can take place at any level in the corporate world. Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino's Pizza was quoted in the article as saying, "A great idea can come from anywhere".
The story comes to a conclusion with a Domino's ad clip that features Doyle and begins with his statement, "At a big company new ideas don't usually come from the local store level,". As a consumer and someone who knows a lot about where innovations comes from, I found this remark both condescending and typical of corporate mentality. Take a look:
I think this is great story from Forbes, but seriously, innovation doesn't usually take place at a corporate level, all levels of an operation are capable of innovating whether it be incremental or groundbreaking. I would argue that many great innovation in the corporate world originate and gain momentum at the ground level before the ideas are even pitched to the corporate big wigs.
I think this is common business knowledge at this point in America. Sorry Patrick Doyle, I doubt you have had any great epiphany about customer service or what customers want from Domino's while sitting behind your desk inside the office. When your business is serving customers, you have to engage those clients face to face everyday to truly get a sense of what they want or need.
Perhaps this guy who created the garlic pizza bites or whatever would make a great addition to your corporate team. Maybe he does't posses all the scholarly credentials you conventionally seek, but he has ground level experience and could probably school you on how to run a Domino's location and make customers happy, and that matters.
Input and subsequent innovations should come from all levels in any business. If you're discounting feedback from a segment of your workforce, you're cutting yourself off from vital information that could lead to your next big innovative leap. Also, listening to customer feedback can be just as instrumental in innovating, why do think every big company asks you to take a survey now days?