A friend of mine works at Staples and every year, the company sponsors a competition soliciting ideas from employees for innovative products (the elusive Purple Cow, right?!). The winner gets $30,000!! It's like the Apprentice, sort of.
You can see all of the finalists (and vote)...here
What I love about this is how it distributes the incentive for innovation.
Staples doesn't let innovation only happen in the R&D or marketing department (hopefully,there!), they say to everyone "it's all of our jobs to think BIG and we'll make it worth your while).
If you are in a position of authority, what are you doing to get the best ideas in your organization to rise to the top?
BTW, my friend is Becky, she's got 2 out of the 5 finalists in the Associates category (here and here)