Whirlpool has been a trusted brand for household appliances for years now. And the reason for its stay in the business is innovation.
Nancy Snyder has been credited for most of the innovative efforts that Whirlpool have been taking. Under Ms. Snyder, the company took into a bold yet successful initiative.
In an interview with Terry Waghorn for Forbes.com, Ms. Synder reveals how she did it, and how Whirlpool embraced the “embedding innovation.” Some insights from the interview:
First, Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool’s chairman, made a company-wide announcement that encouraged every employee to submit their innovative ideas.
Second, created innovation teams, who had to prove their idea on three accounts: benefit the customer; have that competitive advantage and return value to the shareholders, and able to move into the innovation pipeline.
Third, create software tools to help teams collaborate virtually and publish their work across the organization.
Fourth, establish an “I-Mentors” team who helps facilitate the innovation cycle throughout the company.
Fifth, despite the economic recession, Whirlpool is focused not only on reducing cost, but also on the long-term impact of innovation.
Ms. Snyder co-authored a book titled, Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry. There are more insights on innovation there.