Turning employees into pioneers of digital transformation
Many established companies today face the challenge of keeping up with an increasingly fast changing market that can be easily disrupted by startups with fresh perspectives and new ideas. Our client, a leading healthcare diagnostics company, was in a similar situation when they approached us with the request to conduct a „Digital Acceleration Program“ to help them develop new and innovative digital products and services to grant them sustainable growth in the future.
We took a two-pronged approach here: one was to come up with ideas for new products, services and business models and already validate them within a short period of time, while at the same time coaching employees in co-creation, design thinking methods and agile product development.
This should plant the seeds for a sustainable cultural transformation within the company, establishing a new mindset of customer-centric innovation that would help the company stay competitive.
We started with an explorative research phase of interviewing employees across the company as well as customers and patients, to map the domain and identify possible areas for innovation. In a workshop with 600 employees, we collected their ideas for improvements on 3000+ post-its, which were then evaluated, clustered and condensed into 21 themes that were presented on the intranet for employees to vote on, with the final selection of 9 topics coming from the Management Board.
These nine ideas were incubated in two rounds of design sprints with mixed, interdisciplinary teams from both the client side as well as from FTWK. After the first round of short 3-day sprints, there was another online vote by employees and three finalist topics were selected by the Management Board based on desirability, feasibility and viability, to go into the final 7-week „deep dive“ sprint with further development, testing and validation leading up to Demo Day.
Outcome & Impact
All three finalist teams presented advanced, tangible and validated ideas and prototypes on Demo Day that impressed the management with their speed of development and innovation, and got immediate positive feedback from business sponsors within the company to carry them further. Two of the projects have already gone into realization, one will take a bigger scope to develop as it explores a fundamental new business model.
The biggest impact however was the new spirit of co-creation, questioning old ways and simply trying out new things that the client-side team members experienced (and loved!) during the design sprints. Taking new perspectives by talking to customers and patients as well as to other departments, trying out new collaborative tools and doing things step by step in an agile way were the most valuable takeaways for the employees involved in the project. They will be pioneers of digital transformation within the company.