7 key learnings about Innov8rs Paris

After Miami, New York, Madrid, and the Silicon Valley, Paris was the latest stop of Innov8rs event and we were there with the Innovinco team to really deep dive into corporate innovation & intrapreneurship. We’ve learned a lot, had very interesting discussions, been to inspiring talks but most of all we’ve had a great time.

We have extracted from Innov8rs, 7 key learnings that you are just about to read:

LEARNING #1 – How to be more Pirate

Sam Conniff Allende

According to Sam Conniff what the world needs is Professional Rule Breakers and he gives us the simple and easy to get, recipe for this.

A corporate innovator should get almost fired at least once a year

1- Find a rule to break which is stupid, anything.
He talks here about the one we are following every day without taking the time to question it.

2- Rewrite the rule you just broke.
Don’t stop here and make a change, improve what you broke and make it more suitable for everyone.

3- Reorganise into dynamic responsive forces
Stop chasing growth and rather organize yourself into a small, more agile structure. Build a network.

4- Redistribute the power that you’ve got.
Empowering people who are part of your team/organization will allow you to keep your feet on the ground, challenge yourself and never take things for granted

5- Retell – Mastered the art of storytelling to spread your message.
To build on the very well-known quote from the entrepreneurial mindset “Ask for forgiveness, not permission”

Sam makes it sound like this:

If you hear a NO, pretend you’ve heard GO!

LEARNING #2 – How to stay healthy and creative

Yogist – Anne-Charlotte Vuccino

During Innov8rs we talked a lot about, intrapreneurship, innovation strategy, innovation KPIs and how we could put that in place. We have listened, we have thought, we have brainstormed in fact we have mainly used our brain during the first two days. But what about our body?

“A healthy mind in a healthy body” is a common quote for most of us but what do we do in our day-to-day lives to make sure our body keeps up? This is where Yogist comes in, at the beginning and at the end of these 2 days, 2 yogistes experts came to show us different techniques to rest our brain, bring up our level of energy and relieve our body which suffer from stress and sedentary lifestyle. And all this, while sitting in working clothes.

If you still need to be convinced, keep in mind that back pain costs over 1 billion euros in healthcare, and absenteeism linked to poor working conditions creates losses of 108 billion euros a year to companies! So take a deep breath and start listening to your body.

LEARNING #3 – How to enter into the intrapreneur’s (hero) journey

Leonard Bukenya

Most of the intrapreneurs are going through a “Lion King” process. What could that even mean? You have probably heard of the “Hero’s journey” from Joseph Campbell. In his book, there are 3 different stages identified that every hero goes through: departure, initiation and return.

What Leonard Bukenya from aimforthemoon did, is to translate a hero’s journey to an intrapreneur’s one and I was surprised to see how close you are to a hero when you start being one. Here is a quick reminder of Joseph Campbell hero’s journey in 12 steps

Part 1: Call to adventure – The ordinary world – The call to adventure – Refusal
Part 2: Supreme ordeal/initiation – Mentor helper – Crossing the threshold – Test, allies, enemies
Part 3: Unification transformation – Approach – Ordeal – Reward
Part 4: Road back/hero’s return – Road back – Atonement – Return

LEARNING #4 – Innovation is all about people

Astrid Froment

« Innovation is all about people » – and we couldn’t agree more

Having spent more than 15 years at Pernod Ricard (French wine & spirits company), Astrid Froment who is now Global Innovation Leader for the group, gave us a very interesting talk about how she created an internal startup to incubate new ideas at Pernod Ricard worldwide.

Back in March 2012, Astrid had the challenge to give life to an Innovation Fund called “Kangaroo Fund” within Pernod Ricard. At that time she realized that the Kangaroo is an animal not capable of moving backward, it nurtures its little ones for a while and moves forward in leaps. It’s a strong metaphor when it comes to innovation: a strong ambition with step-by-step progress. The objective was to launch the program in 3 months, among the 18,000+ Pernod Ricard’s employees. What a great challenge!

Developing this initiative from scratch, Astrid has realized the true meaning of Entrepreneurial Spirit: « a mindset that embraces critical questioning, followed by quick actions and continuous improvements. It’s an approach to actively seeking positive change rather than waiting to adapt to change. »

During her talk Astrid shared with us the top tips to succeed in building a corporate startup:

Be specific on the call for ideas
Get operational sponsors
Recognize talents

Her talk was full of passion and we really could feel how intense and rewarding her entrepreneurial journey was. In the end, she is now trying to inject this mindset within all Pernod Ricard employees, to think outside the box and bring new opportunities to the company.

LEARNING #5 – How to crowdsource innovation in the food industry

Eeva Tiainen

Eeva is a senior manager responsible for open innovation and new businesses at Fazer.

She was responsible for the first edition of the Fazer Innovation Challenge in order to foster innovation culture and methodologies throughout the company.

We really appreciated the posture of concepter, leader and coach for internal start-ups she had.

We also had an interesting discussion about how to manage the post-challenge life for participants who felt really empowered by the adventure. How to nurture them and give them a role for future editions of the challenge.

LEARNING #6 – Act for storytelling for innovators and disruptors

Susan Lindner

The reason why Susan got the most attendees to her talk highlights the fact that Storytelling has become more & more considered as a must-have in terms of communication for innovators.

We truly appreciated her mention of Bronislaw Malinowski and how he changed the vision of anthropology by truly connecting with people to understand them and their stories. It reminds us of the many projects we have led at Innovinco trying to reconnect corporate innovators to their consumers. A piece of very practical advice to all of us: take the time to ask your consumers why they love you.

We also were really sensitive to her personal story in which she explained how she managed sexual education for prostitutes in Thailand and tried to fight AIDS partnering with the local sanitary authority.

And finally, we ended this wonderful hour and half by a deep reflection on what leadership meant for us, and more particularly what type of leader we would like to be.

LEARNING #7 – The Rhino drink

Martin Tirtiaux

We have talked about innovation and the importance of the right balance between the brain and the body, but let’s not forget one thing, fun. On Thursday night a small team of Innov8rs took refuge in a bar called the “The Rhino Bar”.

The mission: take the time to discover! Discover with people that were just names and job titles before, discover in Parisian local bars and discover wherever the night could get us at any time. In this unknown world, some of us went to the Rex Club, others went to bed and others went on a bar hunt where they could keep on discovering. Some people probably read ‘drink’ instead of ‘discover’ and this is really up to you, but keep in mind that we were there to have a good time.

During our 3 days in Paris, We had the chance to meet a lot of different people, some of them are clients, some of them are competitors and others could be partners. What do all these people have in common? A true passion for innovation, a wish to do things in a better way to improve the current situation. Most of us have a different vision or perception on how to get our companies to innovate and it’s therefore even more important to share your learnings, experience, tips with a community so it can benefit your peers.

If we had to remember one thing from innovating with corporates is that, even if innovation has many aspects, it’s always about people. How could the team work better together? How well are they connected to their consumers/reality? How can people’s ways of working improve our company’s ability to innovate? How could we involve people that don’t want to be intrapreneurs but could be great assets for them? How could we change the entire company mindset about innovation?

As we are currently working for Innovinco, we are convinced that we can help corporates on many of these aspects. If one of these questions sounds familiar to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch we’d be delighted to hear your story.

Antoine, Martin & Max

Close Innovinco logo

Do you want to know more about