Can other companies emulate Google's famous model of letting engineers spend about 20% of their time on projects outside their main job?
The story of innovation [is] a small team of people who have a new idea, typically not understood by people around them and their executives. [This (the 20% model) is] a systematic way of making sure a middle manager does not eliminate that innovation. If you're the employee and I'm the manager, and I sit down and say, "Our product's late, and you screwed up, and you gotta work on this really hard," you can legally say to me, "I will give you everything I've got, 80% of [my time]."
It means the managers can't screw around with the employees beyond some limit. I believe that this innovation escape-valve model is applicable to essentially every business that has technology as a component.