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Salon today features an article about external pressures on Wal-Mart: national protest campaigns, a documentary film, and other efforts to change how the biggest-box retailer works.

Compare those makings of change to parallel efforts at American Airlines. There, employees on the inside are striving to save money — as well as jobs and the company's future. Their small, sensible steps remind me of those taken on the USS Benfold.

Just goes to show, ideas are free, and sometimes, you just have to look close to home. What's most likely to change your company: inside or outside pressure?

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