Sam Walton may have been the grand master of absorbing good ideas of others and then spreading the ideas across the company. Another master was Jack Welch:
(p. 383) Getting every employee’s mind into the game is a huge part of what the CEO job is all about. Taking everyone’s best ideas and transferring them to others is the secret. There’s nothing more important. I tried to be a sponge, absorbing and questioning every good idea. The first step is being open to the best of what everyone , everywhere, has to offer. The second is transferring that learning across the organization.
Welch, Jack. Jack: Straight from the Gut. New York: Warner Business Books, 2001.
See also pp. 197-198 for Welch’s description of the specifics of how Wal-Mart got this job done.
For even more details, see: Walton, Sam. Made in America: Doubleday, 1992.