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Virgin Atlantic – billion-dollar herringbon
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Virgin, airlines, innovation, vision


Wanting to upgrade the company’s premium flight spaces, Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, surveyed an army of designers on overhaul proposals to keep an edge on the competition.

Despite receiving a huge range of proposals, the leadership at Virgin weren’t entirely convinced, so they decided to give an opportunity to one of its young employees, Joe Ferry, who repeatedly claimed to have a solution.

Tasked with such a career-defining assignment, Ferry was given freedom and a great deal of resources to match the trust that was put in him. The results didn’t take long to arrive: the signature herringbone disposition of Virgin sleeper suites.

These suites were received with enthusiasm by this big-spending tier of customers, which translated into a great boost to the brand’s prestige and its revenue. But above all, it was such an agile, daring move that enabled Virgin to stay ahead of the competition, setting a new standard that would last years.

When thinking about hotbeds for new ideas and products, people tend to think about nimble, fast-iterating start-ups, often disregarding the talent already working within the company.

Ironically, it is because of this that intrapreneurs shine: they can be heard, managed and supplied more easily as well as being already committed with the organization and its values.