Lesson learned from a FutureExpedition
During a successful launch and sustained use of the FutureExpedition-program (by DWF), this paper manufacturer learned some key takeaways that you can leverage in implementing your own futurefocused business culture program. This case study explores an important lesson: the importance of choosing the right thinking styles in teams.
Client is a global company focused on providing dissolving wood pulp, paper pulp and paper-based solutions to its direct and indirect customer base across more than 100 countries. The Europe Strategic Marketing and R&D-team were struggling the challenge how to generate real breakthrough business ideas.
Client knew it had a lot of employee ideas, but was wondering why ideas did not make it to the market. Underpinning this push for learning how to come up with breakthrough ideas was the push from Strategic Marketing and R&D leadership to improve employee experience delivering new business. This is supported by the fact that one of the company’s core values is resourcefulness, the ability to think and act creatively.
FutureExpedition (by DWF) is a thorough, well-prepared program making us see and act to create our future together!
Client HR Vice-President
Pick the right people, even if it takes time
For developing and exploring new business opportunities you need the right people to work together. A key element here is balancing four thinking styles: Clarify (goals and challenges), Ideate (multitude of potential solutions), Develop (solutions into workable solution) and Implement (to make it work).
Why is balancing thinking styles so crucial? Each problem solving or new product development project needs to go through the described four phases to connect divergent and convergent thinking and activities. Each thinking style has a natural tendency to NOT understand the other.
Developing this solution-creation projectcycle means learning people to understand each others complementary thus valuable contribution to the challenge at hand.
One of the key things Client learned in this FutureExpedition program: Take the time to build teams focussed at a challenge. Solving burning issues requires a homogeneous team, preventing all kinds of interpersonal misunderstandings.
Developing breakthrough business ideas requires a heterogeneous team, even needs to be adapted according to the project phase. In heterogeneous teams the team members need time to get to know one another, delivering more than promised in the end.
An important driver of the European Marketing and R&D team has come from learning to acknowledge and manage the necessary thinking styles in innovation teams.
This resulted in starting 5 new business exploration projects directly following the FutureExpedition program. This insight has been fed into the HR talent acquisition program to make sure that a more heterogeneous thinking employee population is cultivated.