Support key employees with lengthy sabbaticals for the purposes of going ‘their way’ and exploring areas which they are interested in but would not normally have the chance to explore.
Example: Fujitsu’s ‘My Way’ programme gives selected researchers up to three years to pursue whatever research they are interested in – overseas, additional education, time at different labs…..
“…we hope that this kind of flexible research system will produce something, and it really doesn’t matter to us what. We need cooperation and creativity to pull out of the slump. Part of that is coming into contact with different cultures, obtaining new information from them and building new products from it. It’s that kind of ‘cooperative creativity’ that’s important. That’s the sort of thing that will enable us to apply our technology to areas that we previously thought we couldn’t, and new things will come out of that” (Otsuki, VP Fujitsu)
Source: Katayama, O. (1996). Japanese business into the 21st Century: strategies for success.