The open innovation rocket is taking off: new ideas, talent and entrepreneurs
7,000 employees in 21 countries. 1,135 ideas submitted. More than 40,000 interactions. The Best Rocket programme has been a triumph of innovation.
When talking about innovation, you often turn to the metaphorical image of a rocket. Launching an idea in search of new frontiers, following its path to the future. A rocket symbolises the future and conveys the idea of teamwork: such a technology cannot be launched alone, it needs engaged people behind it. With this idea as a premise, Prosegur's Innovation department has decided to launch the Ideation and Intra-entrepreneurship programmes.
"There can be many types of rockets", says José Daniel García Espinel, corporate head of Innovation. "The Best Rocket is the best idea; The Explorer Rocket refers to internal entrepreneurs; and The Pioneer Rocket is the forerunner who launches into a new business or market that is unknown to us."
Immersed in an ambitious transformation project, Prosegur has fostered open innovation in the last two years, opening the company to the outside world. This strategy encompasses these three rockets, which have been launched into orbit thanks to the work of the innovation team and the employees' positive response.
"We believe Prosegur has a lot of talent and the way to let it emerge is precisely by asking our colleagues how we can solve certain challenges faced by the lines of business as well as our customers; and to look for the best ideas all over the world. There are more than 150,000 of us, so we have a lot of talent in the company."
Takeoff: in search of ideas
The first programme, The Best Rocket, was rolled out on 1 February with ten challenges posed by the various business units and the Prosegur Foundation. The platform was opened for employees from all over the world to submit their ideas.
These ten challenges and an open mailbox were available for two months, until 31 March. During that period, "the response was simply amazing", says Carolina García Cortés, Prosegur's Open Innovation Manager. "I'm used to having to advertise these initiatives a lot... We thought about how to reach the in-person centres, whether to send merchandising to their homes to encourage them ... But it wasn't necessary. There was a lot of excitement. In fact, not one but several published ideas proposed that this channel stay open."
Here are some figures to give us an idea of The First Rocket's success: 1,135 ideas were submitted; and almost 7,000 users from 21 different countries registered on the platform, generating more than 40,000 interactions including likes and comments.
"There were very interesting conversations and we assigned points for the level of activity on the platform. We named the most active users as 'rocketeers of the month' and that made them even more excited to participate. There was an avalanche of likes", insists García Cortés. "Deep down, this is an initiative promoting innovative culture from the company. We wish to foster talent and that the best ideas emerge so as to use them for the benefit of all", adds José Daniel.
The 13 winners, who received between 500 and 2,000 euros in prizes, included individual submissions, group ideas and ideas co-created on the platform. "We've seen a lot of teamwork and collaboration", says the corporate head of Innovation. "Some of the winners have gone across business borders: people from one business who have suggested ideas to another. We have encouraged this union between all areas of Prosegur."
The programme began with a main emphasis on finding solutions to specific problems. However, one of The Best Rocket's most surprising answers has been "problem identification". "The challenges were wide open, many were aimed at improving process efficiency, and participants have identified specific problems with their solutions. That was the case with one of the winners", explains Carolina.
In orbit: internal entrepreneurs
Five of the winners have gone on to launch the next rocket: The Explorer Rocket, the intra-entrepreneurship programme. These five people will become entrepreneurs within Prosegur over the next six months.
"We're going to give them a team and they're going to be part of a very intense entrepreneurship training and business management programme", says Carolina. They will not only have inspirational or theoretical talks, but also hands-on sessions, advice and contact with external experts in the sphere of their idea. "At the end, in November, they will make a pitch about how they would launch this new product or service to the market, presenting the supporting documents, the validation of the fit problem-solution, product-market, the business plan ... They will do it in front of a jury that includes the CEOs of the different lines of business. The jury will then decide whether or not to invest, whether or not they would like to roll out the initiative."
The five solutions might be implemented, or maybe none of them will. There is no preconceived idea. The prize of this programme is the training and that stamp of approval as entrepreneurs and experts in the design of "new products, new businesses, with agile methodologies, design thinking ..."
But The Best Rocket's ideas will not be for nothing. Once the winners are announced, the ideas must be implemented. This will even include ideas that have not won but are attractive to each business. A new call for submissions will open in October.
Landing and new journeys
The programme's success, with employees from all areas (technical, operational and commercial), confirms that rockets will be launched again next year. "These are open innovation initiatives that have come to stay. We are helping to create the Prosegur of the future", says José Daniel. "We are instilling entrepreneurial talent in our colleagues at Prosegur. That's why training is so important; we're creating entrepreneurs within our organisation. For me, that's the programme's ultimate goal and success. It would be great to be able to roll out these initiatives every year and be able to help Prosegur stay at the forefront of security."
The Pioneer Rocket will be the last of the rockets launched by Prosegur's Innovation team. A journey that goes beyond the company's borders. "It's a venture building initiative", says José Daniel García Espinel. "It consists of creating a start-up outside Prosegur, flying alone, flying free. sky is the limit!"