Thomson Reuters’ Catalyst Fund sparks innovation from within
Some companies talk about innovation. Others hardwire it into their corporate culture so completely, so pervasively, that every single employee can actively take part – and get their hands on money needed to make their ideas happen.
Count Thomson Reuters among the latter group.
Thomson Reuters, headquartered in Toronto, is a US$11- billion company with 53,000 employees worldwide. It opened an innovation lab at Communitech in October of 2015, one of seven similar innovation centres the company has established throughout the world devoted to generating new ideas and processes.
The innovation labs work in concert with a program the company established in 2014 called the Thomson Reuters Catalyst Fund.
The Catalyst Fund is a pot of money available to every employee in the company. It’s also a manifestation of the notion that innovation is a company-wide pursuit. In short, any Thomson Reuters employee can submit an idea, get training on how to build and submit a pitch and, if successful, present the pitch to the CEO. If the CEO gives the thumbs-up, the employee is granted $100,000 and the training and personnel needed to explore and develop the concept.
“There aren’t many companies that have this kind of executive support,” says Brian Zubert, Thomson Reuters’ lab