In 1998, Boeing Co. (IW 500/16) needed 71 days to assemble its behemoth 777. Now it only needs 37. The company also has shaved nine days off the final assembly of its best-selling 737, going from 20 days to 11.  

How does Boeing do it?

  • By looking outside the box to solve every conceivable production problem and bottleneck.  
  • By exploring far-fetched ideas and concepts and discussing them in teams until they make sense.  
  • By persisting until a problem is solved.  

Boeing has an innovation culture, and the results underscore how innovative thinking can be adopted -- if employees are encouraged to be creative, disciplined and persistent.