Just about all of us have some sort of personal project or idea that we either are working on slowly, or want to work on, but can't find the time. Whether it's a business idea, a novel or something entirely out of left field, one of the biggest time sinks that gets in the way is work. If you're languishing over how to balance your work schedule, obligations and personal projects, you may want to consider applying over at Samsung, depending on just what it is you're working on. As part of their innovation-friendly culture, they maintain a side venture called C-Lab, short for Creative Lab. C-Lab's purpose is to help employees with great ideas get them off the ground, even if that means hanging up the badge for their usual day-to-day duties at the electronics giant's offices to run a startup from within the company.
There have already been a few success stories from Samsung's C-Lab, like Welt and The humanfit. C-Lab was launched back in 2012, with the idea being that any idea that was truly innovative, and of course profitable, deserved its time in the sun whether the idea came from a factory worker, a designer, or a janitor. Employees can give their ideas to management via Samsung's internal MOSAIC platform and if they garner sufficient support from other employees on various levels of the organization, the employee and their team, if they have one, will receive time off their normal duties. This is in addition to funding, materials, space, and other resources one might imagine needing in order to create an innovative tech product.
Rather than the usual hierarchy system consisting of a CEO, presidents and various managers, all C-Lab projects have what's called a holacracy system, in which there is a single leader, usually either the idea's originator or the most qualified team member to bring it to life, and all of the other team members involved in the project are of equal standing. In a post explaining just how C-Lab works, Samsung encourages experimentation, saying that "failure isn't a bad thing". Since employees with all but the most wildly successful C-Lab ventures end up staying Samsung employees, so they can go straight back to their normal duties with no fear of retaliation or ostracizing from coworkers and managers, should their project fall through. About 46% of ideas become Samsung departments, while 18% go on to become their own companies.