Print Email Facebook Twitter Empowering idea owners to innovate: Implementing an innovation toolkit at KLM Title Empowering idea owners to innovate: Implementing an innovation toolkit at KLM Author Van der Kooij, L.A.L. Contributor Santema, S.C. (mentor) Calabretta, G. (mentor) Bergema, C.P.A.M. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Product Innovation Management Date 2016-04-06 Abstract The mission statement of KLM claims it wants to become the most ‘customer-centric, innovative and efficient European network carrier’, emphasizing the importance of innovation in the corporates’ long-term strategy. Becoming truly innovative requires KLM to unlock all its innovation potential of their employees to secure that all internal potential is fully brought to the benefit of the company. While the KLM executive committee acknowledges the important role of employees to innovation from a bottom-up perspective, there are no embedded operating systems for employees to personally work on their idea for the organization. Therefore the aim of this thesis is to provide employees an opportunity to take ownership of their idea and support them in their innovation processes. The design challenge states; ‘Design an innovation journey for KLM employees that motivates and empowers them to become an innovator by enabling them to act upon their idea and to allocate resources to improve, test, investigate and iterate on their idea until a feasible concept can be presented that will either delight the customer, improve operational efficiency or generate revenue!’ The innovation journey is seen as the complete innovators’ experience of both the innovation toolkit and the innovation program around the toolkit to be designed for this study. Three additional conditions for success state that the innovation journey; (i) needs to be aligned with other KLM business, (ii) should be embedded in the operations of KLM and (iii) requires management support for further continuation of the idea if strategic fit with the organization is determined. Firstly an internal analysis gave insight into the barriers and enablers of innovation within KLM; the barriers present are a (i) culture of traditions, (ii) presence of the not-invented here syndrome and (iii) slow implementation of ideas. While two other insights; (iv) no top-down alignment on innovation and (v) the scale and locations of the organization do not necessarily seem to form barriers but can in fact also reinforce the smaller eco-systems of innovation within departments. Innovation initiatives seem to be scattered around the company, however cooperation on innovation seems to work well both across and within departments nowadays. Followed by a literature review on the topics of (i) organizational culture, (ii) learning orientation and (iii) firm innovativeness the implications for research could be translated into design criteria for the innovation journey. Thirdly a multiple case study was conducted in which six corporates were interviewed on how they organize their innovation efforts within the company, with a strong focus on the initiation phase. The data analysis resulted in eight themes of innovation that were of valuable input to the action research. The eight themes studied are; (i) idea management, (ii) outside-in approach, (iii) innovation funnel, (iv) design and business methods, (v) innovation phases, (vi) organization structure & strategy, (vii) role of the idea owner and (viii) alignment of innovation to running business. Fourthly the action research was the most extensive part of the research; an intervention into the existing organization was conducted by the introduction of 10 innovation toolkits. To study the effects of this innovation toolkit and program, the action researcher was involved in co-defining the problem, co-designing the intervention process, and co-implementing that intervention together with the internal KLM stakeholders. Firstly the toolkit itself was redesigned; the basis for the toolkit was available thanks to the open-source material of the Adobe Kickbox, which was transformed into a KLM concept called the ‘Start-up Box’. This Start-up Box is designed to provide structure for employees to work on their idea during the initiation phase of innovation by offering toolkit resources, workshops and personal support to idea owners. Within the emergent process of the implementation of these toolkits, the effects of the intervention on both the participants and the organization were carefully observed and evaluated. This resulted in redesign recommendations for a future edition and an implementation plan for the Start-up Box within KLM. In the end this study successfully introduced a first edition of Start-up Boxes within KLM, it has proven to empower and motivate KLM employees to work on their innovative idea for the organization by creating an environment in which they are encouraged to innovate. Of the 14 participants 13 would recommend participating in the Start-up Box program to other KLM colleagues. Moreover 6 Start-up Box idea owners received management support to implement their innovation within a period of 10 weeks. The Start-up Box addresses multiple strategic goals of KLM with a minimum of resources; (i) it is a manifestation of the bottom-up approach for innovation opted in the Annual Report by the CEO, (ii) it unlocks the innovation potential of KLM employees for the organization and (iii) it contributes to the eco-system of innovation by its networking effect and intra-organizational knowledge sharing. Additional benefits of the innovation toolkit are the potential of storytelling about innovation - for which the physical artefact is very suitable - and creating awareness for innovation initiatives within the organization. Criteria for successful implementation of the Start-up Box are (i) cross-departmental implementation, (ii) structured follow-up on the Start-up Box program after the final pitches and (iii) management support from senior managers across the organization. Recommendations to improve the Start-up Box innovation journey are to (i) provide a better coaching system for individual support, (ii) emphasize the importance of testing the value proposition for improvement and to (iii) increase employees’ ability to pivot their idea if necessary. An important aspect to keep in mind when executing the Start-up Box program is that it affects employees also on a personal level; therefore coaching on a more individual level should account for the emotional component of the idea owners in their process of innovation. If KLM wants to foster an innovative culture and keep the innovation funnel filled with creative ideas by empowering their own employees to innovate, Start-up Box offers a successful innovation program to achieve this. Subject innovationstrategybottom-up approachinnovativeness To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:e0dcacb1-93f0-4d7e-9b5b-9c4d57597e51 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2016 Van der Kooij, L.A.L.