More and more companies enabled their employees to more rapidly address customer problems, anticipate unarticulated needs and drive customer-facing innovation. - Amazon, where CEO Jeff Bezos often insists on leaving an empty chair at meetings to represent the "customer's voice," has a data-driven culture which actively encourages employees to build experiments based on customer insight. Innovations such as shopping cart recommendations have been the direct result of entry-level employees taking initiative. Behavior-based search was first implemented by an intern, resulting in a three percent revenue increase. - Zara, the Spanish fast-fashion company, receives quantitative data and qualitative observations from store managers daily to better understand what customers want. Every day, store staff chat with customers, asking questions like, "What if this skirt was longer?" or "What other colors would you like for this item?" This has allowed Zara to limit failed product introductions to just one percent (the industry averages nearly ten percent) while producing nearly ten times the number of products as its largest competitors. Combining effective best practices from these diverse organizations and others provides a methodology for building a front line-focused organization, as well as the leadership required to enable your front line to make real-time judgment calls. This process encourages leaders to break down the individual elements required to build and reinforce front line judgment while ensuring they provide an integrated, systemic framework for action rather than a pastiche of so-called empowerment initiatives overlaid on a command-and-control structure. As companies seek to get more contribution and creativity from frontline personnel, here's a five-step process for moving beyond a suggestion-box mentality. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review