Ah, skunkworks. Those small, agile units beloved of large organizations looking for the Next New Idea. I've written about them in the past – and outlined some of the pitfalls of setting them up and expecting great things to happen without having some way of re-integrating them back to the core business.
I ran across this really interesting blog post this morning that adds a lot of rich texture to the subject of skunkworks and pulls together some really interesting examples. For instance, I didn't know that the originator of "let a thousand flowers bloom" idea was Chairman Mao! Definitely worth a look.