Frank Seeley – founder of Seeley International, the country’s biggest air conditioning manufacturer – has spoken of the importance of company-wide brainstorming sessions to Seeley’s innovation process.
Seeley, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at 2012’s Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Awards, told BRW that the innovation sessions also included the assumption that there was no such thing as a stupid suggestion.
“Engineers are necessary in our organisation because they show you things, but they’re not all that imaginative,” Seeley, a non-engineer himself, told BRW.
He said the company’s unconventional culture was understood by those who had been there a long time, but was unusual for new engineers.
“The board and the older engineers are all part of it so everyone gets excited about [the new ideas],” he said. “We say there is no stupid question or idea.”
Seeley, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2001, began his career as a teacher, before switching to sales, and then finally, in 1972, starting Seeley International.
The company currently employs over 300 people at its sites in Albury in NSW and Lonsdale in South Australia.
Image: Adelaide Now