Traditional retailers are having a hard time turning millennials into loyal customers; and our client was no exception. Our national retailer client decided to leverage their own millennial employees to generate and develop offerings that would engage their peers. The benefits were twofold: not only did they surface new ideas to engage the Millennial customer but it also began to create a collaborative culture of innovation within the millennial workforce.
The company’s Innovation Team partnered with Doable to provide a platform for millennial employees to create and collaborate on ideas that would appeal to fellow millennials. Doable and the company would work together over the next three months to take this challenge and the millennial group through the three phases of the Doable innovation process: Brainstorm, Bake, and Build.
Leading the challenge at the retail company was the internal Innovation Team who believed that this initiative would be a great way to add more power to their innovation capabilities without the cost of more dedicated resources to the department. We decided as a group that the best way to create sustained engagement was to ask for volunteers from the millennial group to participate in a pilot of the initiative and become advocates for building a culture of intrapreneurship within the company. With the volunteers established, we launched the challenge with close to 200 people from various departments throughout the company. Using the platform to create and discuss ideas was second nature for this group of people, with one user emailing the Innovation Team saying, "I really love this so far! The software is intuitive and easy to navigate." The challenge went through the Doable process of Brainstorm, Bake and Build, and yielded ideas that were so inspiring and feasible they were moved into the company’s innovation lab to be prototyped and tested.
”If you can figure out how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Instagram; you w”ill be able to use Doable just fine”
During this process we saw close to two hundred ideas submitted to the challenge with high levels of engagement and conversation around each idea. The top ideas that had won the hearts and minds of the millennial group advanced into the Bake phase to be further refined. Once in the Bake phase, senior members from the company’s Innovation Team were assigned to each idea to act as coaches for the teams as they began completing Proof Points. During the Bake phase there was deep collaboration on ideas with an average of 12 cross-functional contributions from team members which led to users citing Doable as the best opportunity to work with colleagues from outside of their department. The combination of cross- functional teams and manager involvement allowed for higher fidelity ideas that were presented to the coaches at The Pitch. The Pitch was an event held at the company headquarters where over 200 employees gathered to watch the idea creators, and their teams, make a case for their ideas. Each team had 10 minutes to present their idea, often to thunderous applause, and 10 minutes for Q & A, where the Coaches could question components of the ideas and also surface resources that further evolved the idea and its value. The teams whose ideas were approved, went on to present to the executive team, a rare chance and extremely valuable experience for this young group of employees. With Doable, this national retailer was able to create an environment that not only empowered their employees to come forth with ideas to advance key business objectives, but also created a way for the company’s leadership to recognize and reward the talent within their own walls.
“I thought it was a really creative and interactive way to be able to share my ideas. Especially as Millennials, it was nice to have a voice but also get guidance from those who have experience in areas that we were brainstorming ideas in.”
This program was a success because of the frequent communication and guidance by the Innovation Team to the Millennial group, as well as, the group’s ability to autonomously make decisions to keep the process moving forward and employees engaged
User activation across the entire company
Increase in users feeling more confident in generating and developing ideas
Increase in users connect and collaborate with those outside their department
Increase in users feeling appropriately recognized for the work that they do
Increase in perceived satisfaction with opportunities for growth
Of people on the platform contributed to an idea or came up with an idea