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Accelerate growth and stimulate an innovation culture at HEINEKEN

Innovation remains a strategic focus area for HEINEKEN and they are well on track to reach their target innovation rate1 of 6 per cent of annual revenues by 2020. To boost this innovation rate and to enhance an innovation culture, HEINEKEN organises a worldwide Innovation Challenge annually. The 2013 Innovation Challenge aimed to generate strong ideas addressing local problems and to stimulate innovation across all HEINEKEN employees. Just like in the previous yearly idea challenges, HEINEKEN collaborated with Innovation Factory by using their PIT software and management assistance in running the Innovation Challenge.

Figure 1: A oorsticker was one of the activation mechanisms

The process
In search for local initiatives that accelerate growth for HEINEKEN the Innovation Challenge started with an online local ideation phase. Each country had its own Challenge on the online platform allowing the employees to submit ideas and build on each others ideas in the comfort of their own language and culture during the course of 7 weeks. The best ideas of this phase, selected by the local team in charge using the online PIT evaluation tool, enrolled to the second phase. In this Global phase the ideas continued to be enriched by colleagues around the globe on the same PIT platform, leading to more elaborate concepts. After a careful selection a jury chose the most promising ideas for further exploration. The winning local teams developed the chosen ideas further and presented them at HEINEKENs annual innovation event. The winning idea was selected at this event and is further prototyped by the winning country supported by Headofce.

To make this Innovation Challenge a success, the worldwide group of employees needed to be properly involved and activated. Several measures were taken to lower the barrier to participate. First of all, the PIT software was available in 14 languages. Secondly, a socalled Innovation Champion in each country was responsible for the Local Challenge. These innovation champions were supported by HEINEKENs global innovation department and Innovation Factory. Furthermore the global communication network was provided with regular complementing information and activation mechanisms (gure 1). Above all, regional managers and the responsible local managers endorsed the Innovation Challenge.

1 The Innovation Rate is calculated as revenues generated from innovations launched in the past twelve quarters divided by total revenue.

Innovation Factory

The 2013 Innovation Challenge was a great success. In total over 2700 ideas were generated that were improved with more than 4000 enrichments throughout the local and global phase. The Local Challenge made it possible to address local problems and created a notable buy-in from all employees in innovation. Next to the winning idea, countries selected several ideas to be developed locally increasing an innovative culture worldwide. The global phase made it possible to share knowledge and expertise among colleagues worldwide. This cross-pollination of knowledge sharing led to an increase of the quality of the ideas, creating strong concepts. Involving 3500 users that interacted in 40 Local Challenges (gure 2 & 3) in the same time led to the largest employee innovation contest for HEINEKEN so far. One of the main reasons for success has been the high commitment of the Innovation Champions, local management support and active communication. We are proud to have assisted HEINEKEN in this process.

Figure 2: Flags of the 40 participating countries

of participants

27 %

Western Europe

Central & Eastern Europe

18 %
of participants

of participants

29 %

Africa & Middle East

26 %
of participants

Ideas ending in the top 10

Figure 3: Participation per region

Interested to learn more?

Contact us at info@innovationfactory.eu or check out www.innovationfactory.eu

Innovation Factory