A Global Technology Solutions Provider Develops and Deploys Enterprise-Wide Innovation Capital, Creating Several Breakthroughs.

ORGANIZATION

In early 2016 a global security solutions and fire protection provider announced a merger with an international market leader in building products and technology. With strong synergies between the two organizations, the transaction intentionally combines innovation pipelines for market-leading solutions that will impact smart buildings around the world as technology and the Internet of Things continue to evolve.

CHALLENGE

The organization faced a challenge familiar to multinational organizations: How to create—and sustain—enterprise-wide innovation capabilities within a geographically dispersed and functionally diversified workforce. This organization chose to launch a company-wide initiative that has C-suite endorsement and global participation. Over the years, the company’s Senior Director of Talent had attended various innovation skills workshops, but always came away feeling they were too theoretical for the broader needs of her organization. To develop innovation capital among the company’s 50,000 employees, she wanted not only to develop innovation-capable leaders, but also to address change-management, and to do so in a flexible learning format that would work at every level of the organization. She also wanted tangible outcomes from the learning process.

APPROACH

After learning about Innovator’s Accelerator, an award-winning corporate learning experience provided by Apollo Education Group, organizational leaders were convinced it addressed the company’s vision for growth and innovation. The Innovator’s Accelerator™ learning experience features insights and instruction from three of the world’s foremost innovation experts. The program also includes highly engaging case studies, skills practice and application, a collaborative and social online environment, and a gamified process for personalized development.

man working on global technology solutions

Innovator’s Accelerator™ is a critical component of implementing our innovation and growth strategy. In addition to providing a rich learning experience in a very interactive environment, Innovator’s Accelerator™ offers the expertise of three of the world’s foremost experts on innovation. It is a a very engaging and effective learning solution.

SOLUTION

With support from the CEO, senior management hand-picked a group of leaders to pilot a new enterprise-wide innovation program. The 36 selected participants would complete a seven-week Innovator’s Accelerator™ experience that would not only develop their innovation skills, but also equip them to lead innovation workshops with the goal of expanding innovation capabilities across business units and around the world. That inaugural cohort learned about innovation concepts and processes. They explored case studies grounded in real-life examples that could be applied to the organization’s lines of business, and were challenged to collaborate and produce an innovative business-specific project. A dedicated Innovator’s Accelerator™ coach served to inspire and engage participants, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas. After completing the seven-week learning experience, the innovation leaders were armed with new tools and best practices to lead transformational change and promote a sustainable culture of innovation. They organized and led a series of innovation workshops focused on helping their teams connect deeply with their customers, transform insights and data into actionable ideas, and create and implement new solutions with business impact quickly and effectively.

The blended format of online and on-premise training works well for today’s global enterprise, where budget and travel freezes can impact our long-term learning and development efforts.

BUSINESS IMPACT

Improved Virtual Collaboration — According to the Senior Director of Talent, a quick win for the company during the inaugural Innovator’s Accelerator™ experience was how effectively participants worked together in teams via the online learning environment. To management, this was particularly rewarding, considering the well-known challenges of effective collaboration among virtual teams and the almost nonexistent channels of communication previously available between business units.

The Innovator’s Accelerator™ experience empowered me to develop and apply my innovation and leadership skills—and to share them with my team and with other business units.

An Energized Culture of Innovation — Following the initial training, the inaugural participants, now Innovation Leaders, went on to conduct innovation workshops throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, enabling employee teams to practice and apply core innovation skills to tackle real business problems.

The global innovation program helped to foster more effective cross-functional collaboration throughout the enterprise. Bringing together participants from diverse teams—such as product management, sales, marketing, and engineering— the workshops helped blur the boundaries between business units and maximize expertise and diversity.

Several breakthroughs were attributed to this program. One in particular resulted in having research and design teams adopt a more customer-centric paradigm. They discovered that visiting customer sites, and personally observing how products were being used and what worked best, enabled them to be more responsive to customer needs and market changes.

It was important to us to own the process and outcomes of the training. The new products in development as a result of our workshop are a testament to this sense of ownership and accountability.

New Products, Better Processes — Other benefits of the program included the prototyping and testing of new products. It is expected that several of these products will be developed and taken to market.

Ongoing Innovation — As the company expands, leadership intends to continue growing its network of innovation capital by leveraging Innovator’s Accelerator™ as a cornerstone for its enterprise-wide innovation initiatives.


LEARN MORE

Innovator’s Accelerator™ is an award-winning corporate learning experience that helps companies develop innovation capabilities quickly and sustainably. Learn more and watch a demo at InnovatorsAccelerator.com.

About Apollo Professional Development

Apollo Professional Development offers a full range of employee education and talent management services to help companies build and sustain a future-ready workforce. With deep industry expertise and a focus on educational innovation, we use our global education network and the most advanced learning technologies to design and deliver cost-effective, scalable, and customizable learning solutions for corporations worldwide. Learn more.