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W L Gore culture of innovation – How capturing employee ideas led to the creation of Elixir strings?

About W.L.Gore and Associates

W. L. Gore & Associates is an American international company. It was formed in 1958 and develops and manufactures synthetic textiles for use in aerospace, apparel, medical, automotive, chemical, and electronic industries, and other applications.

Idea capture and Implementation:

Keeping an enthusiasm for capturing innovative ideas, Gore encouraged “dabble time” in his workplace. During that specified time, the workers were given an opportunity to present their ideas about various problems or new products of value.

One of the company’s employees, Dave Myers used his dabble time to enhance the shifting of gears of his mountain bike. He decided to coat the gear cables of his bike with a layer of plastic to make them smooth and more durable. Under this process, Myers and another Gore employee, Chuck Hebestreit, noticed a dampened sound of the strings after dirt particles accumulated on the guitar strings.

Dave Myers initiated the idea of a new guitar string using Gore coating. He identified that coating the guitar strings resulted in better sound and longer usable life. Gore’s management accepted the idea which led to the creation of Elixir strings.

Result:

W. L. Gore introduced the new strings under their brand name Elixir Strings. Customers appreciated the Elixir strings’ superior quality, and despite their high price, the product quickly became the best-selling string.

Encouraging ideas and establishing a culture of innovation has helped various organizations benefit both in terms of achieved objectives and the generation of revenue. Did you know, you might also be sitting on a pile of wonderful employee ideas waiting to be discovered? With an idea capture system like Inspire IP Ideas, you can join these organizations too, and benefit from the ideas of your employees.

Read Next: The list of best idea management software that can facilitate innovation in your organization.

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