Innovation lab case study- World’s largest automobile manufacturer

World’s Largest Automobile Manufacturer

Situation:

Our client is the world’s largest automobile manufacturer in its category. The organisation has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years by introducing new & innovative practices across functional & business lines. The R&D function has been able to churn out some remarkable innovations in products & processes in collaboration with global IVY League business schools and is currently working on a few breakthrough projects.

The top leadership team believes that in order to sustain their strong market share and grow exponentially, the organisation should focus on building further its innovation capability & capacity and incubate 2 identified challenges which are believed to disrupt the industry and set new benchmarks for the organization.

Outcome Expected :

The client expects the impact at two levels-

Short term (6 months)

  • One of the identified challenge to result in a new business line with a complete strategic plan of execution including a strong eco-system to sustain

Long term

  • Organisation growth in terms of new products & services
  • Enhancement of the brand perception of the organisation
  • Set-up of a dedicated innovation engine functioning at an organisation level and catering to multiple innovation projects across functions
  • Capability & capacity building of multiple groups of people on innovative mind-set, innovation tools, ideation & incubation
  • Developing a culture of innovation

Action: 

The 60-day phase I involved the accelerator and engaging two different teams with two different set of challenges with the goal of making a pitch to the chairman and a key investor to spawn two possible organizations from the accelerator and incubating the solutions shortlisted by respective innovation teams. The 60 day intensive innovation lab, grounded in globally validated cutting edge tools & frameworks, innovation & entrepreneurship focused assessments (Whole Brain Thinking & Entrecode) and experiential reflective workshops based on principles of design thinking, customer journeys, neuroscience and action learning was undertaken as a part of the project. The focus was on applying Whole Brain Thinking, Ideation Techniques and various tools and techniques of innovation in the real challenges.

The journey was divided into 3 broad phases-

  • Foundational- The design comprised of ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ based visioning & expectation alignment workshop at the sponsor, stakeholder & participant level. This was followed by 2 assessments to baseline and understand the development areas aligned to the organisation context.
  • Building blocks- Comprised of experiential innovation labs introducing & binding the knowledge on values, culture, 8 dimensions of the brain, 7 traits of an innovator, lean start-up, Design Thinking, SIT, pitching events & Hot-Housing.
  • Momentum- Group & team coaching to anchor & align the learning from the different phases of the project.

Result 

The initial session (Vision & strategic intent) for the sponsors & stakeholders was a discovery session on multiple perspectives which came forward. It was an AHA moment for them on being aligned to a shared intent which surfaced their feelings of contentment & excitement for the project.

The alignment session with the participants was an icing as there hopes & concerns were appropriately addressed. They were in a state of euphoria and passionate to get on with the journey.

A series of interviews with the managers and peers of the participants revealed facts about the feeling of pride regarding the initiative and an eagerness to be a part of this elite group of individuals who will be taking the organisation to greater heights.

The cohort went through 2 assessments to map their whole brain (highlighting an individual’s thinking styles and the preferred way the individual wanted to think) and entrepreneurial potential (an important consideration for the organisation as it wanted to quickly move into incubation).

The whole brain technique was utilised for creativity and decision making resulting in the first breakthrough for the group. It created a strong learning ecosystem of how we tend to think and take decisions. It helps people equip with other people’s thinking preferences and how we can leverage each other. It was a breakthrough for the cohort as they realised how easily they can activate and consciously use other dimensions of the brain to come up with ideas themselves. They also became conscious about how to leverage the eight dimensions as a team. Using the knowledge of Whole Brain Thinking, the teams created the building blocks of the organization i.e. values, behaviours, culture, resources, processes & success.

All this gave them a foundation to now receive the cutting edge tools including many elements of design thinking and SIT methods. In just a few weeks, the participants observed huge mind shifts with many reporting a change in worldview.

Unlike standardised workshops, the innovation journey was very engaging as it encompassed all hands-on working sessions. The teams stayed above the line through energisation exercises, workouts and built-in creative conversations on abstract topics. The result of the 3 month journey culminated in a successful pitch presentation to the managing director of the company and approval for the seed money to kick-off the 2 shortlisted projects by the organisation.

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