Spigit Client Awards: And the Winner Is…

By Jeremy Brown | Spigit
July 20, 2018

Every year at Spigit’s annual conference, Ignite, we recognize clients in our innovation community whose programs have achieved remarkable feats.

This year, we celebrated our client’s success in several categories, including:

  • Best Employee Engagement
  • Launch of the Year
  • New Program of the Year

Let’s take a closer look at the winners, their stories, and key learnings from each company.

Best Employee Engagement

The award for Best Employee Engagement looks at clients who have created a robust reward and recognition program, and have increased employee engagement and participation across their innovation campaigns and challenges.

The award for Best Employee Engagement went to Pfizer!

Pfizer, who has been a Spigit customer for the past five years, has turned its innovation program into a key initiative that has helped the company succeed in multiple ways, including developing new products and driving high employee engagement.

One key to Pfizer’s ability to generate impressive employee engagement – nearly 80% of its 90,000 employee workforce have participated across 200+ ideation challenges – has been its worldwide network of 250 employees, better known as champions.

The network of champions – each is trained in the practice of crowdsourced ideation – has helped drive adoption for the company’s innovation program by being advocates in the various business units.

Having that visibility throughout the company has enabled Pfizer’s small innovation team to do more with less.

Key takeaway

Whether you’re a global company or one that’s located in a central location, identify employees who show a propensity to collaborate and are enthusiastic about innovation. Teach this group the principles of crowdsourced ideation, and turn them into your innovation program champions.

Creating a group of champions can help your program gain more visibility amongst employees, which directly impacts the program’s ability to scale and become a key pillar in your company’s corporate strategy.

Launch of the Year

Launch of the Year recognizes the Spigit customer that has had an extremely successful challenge launch, resulting in one or more ideas having made it into current implementation or R&D.

The 2018 Launch of the Year went to Premera Blue Cross!

Premera’s successful launch supported the efforts of an annual hackathon that helps the organization build and maintain a culture of innovation, and improve the overall client experience.

In previous years, the hackathon was run with a small group from Premera’s IT department. This year, they not only expanded the hackathon, but they also used Spigit as a pre-hackathon idea generator to develop the ideas that would go on to be further developed during a live event. Using Spigit in this way created opportunities for business areas to engage early and build excitement, and then be active participants with the IT teams in the hackathon.

Ten ideas were selected for the hackathon teams to pick from. One of the ideas was developed before the hackathon began, and over the course of the hackathon, seven ideas were chosen by teams to develop — three of which were initially selected as winners to move on to next steps.

As of today, one developed idea is now sitting as an industry game-changer on Premera’s mobile roadmap, while the other six are in business case development to support funding requests.

Hackathons have moved well beyond the tech world and have become useful initiatives for companies in all industries to use to bring employees together to solve specific problems.

Premera Blue Cross is an example of how customers use the Spigit technology to boost the results of their hackathons in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tapping into a bigger pool of talent for ideas
  • Building buzz before hackathons and maintaining it well after the fact
  • Maintaining a digital record of ideas and concepts allowing for future development opportunities

Key takeaway

One thing that Premera did that we at Spigit advocate is to expand the number of participants in ideation challenges.

The more people (the more brain power) you have, the higher your chances of surfacing problems you may have missed or opportunities you never thought of.

New Program of the Year

New Program of the Year is designed to recognize new innovation programs that have run at least two innovation challenges and have a user based that’s actively engaged.

The 2018 New Program of the Year is Campbell Soup Company!

Campbell Soup Company is a prime example of a new client whose program has naturally set itself on a fast trajectory of continually high success, proving within the first two challenges that they could exceed participation and outcome expectations.

Jeff George, VP of Research and Development (Americas) at Campbell’s, shared two inspiring stories at Ignite that illustrate the success of their program.

The first story George shared was how an employee saved a Campbell’s plant from closing operations all because he saw something others didn’t – an opportunity to extract a ton of incremental value from the plant.

The executive team was so blown away by the idea that they’re doubling down on the plant by investing more resources into it.

One employee literally saved the plant from closing, not to mention saved countless jobs.

The second story was a food related idea that was developed by…no, not a chef…but a person in IT.

While the idea wasn’t selected as a finalist during one of the company’s innovation challenges, the individual was so passionate about the idea that he continued working on it with the help of several colleagues, including George.

Fast forward to today, the team at Campbell’s saw the idea’s potential and is now taking it to market.

These are just two successes from Campbell’s innovation program.

Key takeaways

Give employees a voice.

More importantly, give them a place where their voice can be heard any time, anywhere.

There’s a common narrative about established companies being slower to innovate. Campbell’s, who has been in business for 120 years, proves that it can be done if you leverage the collective intelligence of employees. If they can do it, so can you.

Final thoughts

Each award winner comes from a different industry, and often times has different priorities.

Despite their differences, each company faces the same dilemma: how do you compete in a world that’s constantly evolving, where consumer behavior can change in a blink of an eye, and where innovation has turned into a key role within an organization?

However, what each company has come to realize is that long-term success will be accomplished when employees are empowered to share their ideas and collaborate. Utilizing the collective intelligence they have access to effectively is what separates Pfizer, Premera Blue Cross, Campbell Soup Company, and the many other Spigit customers from others in their respective industries.

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