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Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: Nine Lessons from Nature for Enterprise Growth and Career Success by Madan Birla

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Closing Thoughts

MINT in Action

Fred Smith’s Idea + Employees’ Creativity = Global Icon

Fred Smith has single-handedly changed the way global business functions. He has achieved this transformation not because he happened to be in the right place at the right time, or because he had access to a new groundbreaking technology, but because he had a vision of how to combine existing technologies and develop new processes to realize new possibilities.

—Strategy & Leadership, September/October 1997

Yes, Fred Smith had the original idea for starting FedEx, but it was the creativity and commitment of employees at all levels of the organization that turned it into a globally successful business. The business growth and the promotion from within policy have allowed thousands of people to enjoy successful and rewarding careers.

The following are just some of the industry-changing innovations that were imagined and successfully implemented by employees. It is very important to note that all of them were conceived and implemented in the 1970s and 1980s, when technology was very primitive compared with today.

FedEx was:

  • The first express company to install electronic communication systems in delivery vans.
  • The first company to introduce an on-time delivery guarantee.
  • The first company to develop handheld scanners.
  • The first company to offer online tracking.

Let’s question each other, our ideas, and potential scenarios. Questioning and planning will help us create a better FedEx; it will help ...

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