Kelly Services innovation chief on creating meaningful revenue

RolfKleinerRolf Kleiner became the first Chief Innovation Officer at Kelly Services, the temporary staffing giant, on January 1st, 2012.

“I’ve really been doing this for twenty years inside the company,” says Kleiner, who previously had been SVP of the company’s outsourcing and consulting division. “But now I’m sanctioned.” The Chief Innovation Officer role was created by Kelly’s CEO, Carl Camden, to whom Kleiner reports.

We spoke with Kleiner about his three primary mandates; his staff; and a bonus program that will reward employees who submit ideas with up to $10,000. His overall objective is to create meaningful new revenues for the company — not, as he puts it, to be “a think tank with great ideas that never get instituted.” Based in Troy, Michigan, Kelly Services’ 2013 revenues were $5.4 billion.

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