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Innovation in the Hands of Employees

The Challenge

One of the world’s largest independent full-service health and wellness ad agencies conducted a SWOT analysis and discovered that creating a systematic culture of innovation would provide an opportunity to address critical gaps both within and outside the agency. The agency wanted to launch an initiative to not only assert innovation as a core company value, but also practice innovation mindsets and abilities as a means to create customer, employee, and agency value.

Our Solution

Ei led an agency-wide three part program to instill “innovation” as a core company value and give select employees an opportunity to pursue an internal innovation project. In phase one, all employees participated in a 2-hr workshop on key mindsets for innovation, setting a shared language and value org-wide. In phase two, three small teams of employees selected a variety of challenges surfaced by the organization. Coached by an Ei facilitator, each team conducted design thinking sprints to develop prototypes to address the challenges. Teams then presented back their findings to the entire organization.

Workshop Outcomes

After each workshop, participants were invited to submit their own idea for what innovation teams could focus on. By the end of the workshop deployment, there were nearly 200 contributions, 81% of which were categorized as Horizon 1 Innovation (continuous improvement) and two-thirds of which were centered around challenges and opportunities that impacted agency employees. Ultimately, one Innovation team was awarded budget and time to continue to research and design to address one of the challenges. This project is ongoing.

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