UP’s itch to innovate

What will it take to continue cultivating a culture that embraces and drives innovation? For Union Pacific Railroad, it’ll take a lot of good ideas.

The railroad is seeking better ways to perform routine tasks or employ recurring processes to help boost efficiency, enhance safety, build business and cut costs. Ideas floated so far by its workforce have helped the railroad institute small, incremental improvements, which are known as the Little I in furthering innovation.

Yet, the railroad also needs workers’ input on any large, game-changing improvements — or the Big I — that could be pursued to achieve systemic innovations and obtain highly impactful results.

Enter Innovation Station, an electronic suggestion box of sorts slated to launch company-wide in May. The software application is designed to provide all employees a platform to share and vet ideas, from big to small and simple to complex.

To learn more about Innovation Station and UP’s pursuit of both the Big and Little Is, read my cover story in the March issue.

Do you have any thoughts on the railroad’s innovation push or introduction of the interactive software application? Please share them in the comment section.

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