Case Study: Producing a Culture of Innovation in Manufacturing

Does creativity have a place in the manufacturing sphere? According to Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson, in a recent article for Forbes, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” The authors offer a glance at a company called Crafts Tech, which is “one of the oldest continually operating tool companies in the U.S.”

In 2014, the owners of Crafts Tech set out to inspire new innovation within their organization. They employed a unique, three-step process that included the following:

  1. Transitioned company ownership to their employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). By giving their employees ownership in the company, they inspired the valuable mindset of innovation.
  2. Utilized in-house talent to inspire creativity. In order to expand into a problem-solving role, Crafts Tech use a team of in-house engineers to develop new ideas and opportunities—ideas over which they would maintain intellectual property rights.
  3. Sought input from ALL members of the team. Crafts Tech created an environment where all members of the staff were encouraged to contribute new ideas—and made sure that they received the proper attention and credit.

For more details, read that article in full at Forbes.