Interview with Denis Faivre
Denis Faivre is Head of Innovation at Worldline. He joined us in 1990 after completing his studies.
Our innovations regularly receive awards and innovation in itself is at the core of our DNA. In this context, how do we stimulate and inspire the spirit of innovation at all levels of our company?
To answer this question, it is important to first know how we define innovation at Worldline. Our definition is both simple and wide enough to enable a majority of our team members to give free rein to their innovative ideas. It can be equated to a three-legged stool, with one leg representing “novelty”, one for "value creation" and the third one for "concreteness”. Following this analogy, if one of these legs is missing, it simply does not stand as an innovation.
Saying that innovation is part of our DNA is not enough, it has to actually be present at all levels in Worldline. The Worldline Innovation Network (a.k.a. WIN), stimulates it within our company along the following three axis:
Stimulating innovation at Worldline goes further than that. To give more examples, we also have very active researchers’ and experts’ communities, we strongly encourage patenting and we develop external interactions with other companies, academics and communities, amongst others.
Additionally, stimulating innovation is also about educating each of our team members about what innovation is, how Worldline innovates, that they can innovate within our company and inciting them to showcase their innovative ideas. It is within this context that we created the WIN Awards, our annual celebration dedicated to innovation.
Speaking about the WIN Awards, can you tell us more about this contest and how it works?
The WIN Awards are about encouraging our employees who have contributed to an innovative project, which has been completed or has progressed sufficiently during the year, to showcase it by submitting it to this contest. The WIN Awards are strongly positioned as transverse, open to all profiles, all businesses and all geographies of Worldline. They are divided in four complementary innovation categories:
- The “customer project” category includes projects that have contributed to innovation at our customers, by either providing the innovation itself or by making it possible or by being its catalyst.
- The “asset creation” category includes projects whose innovation has strengthened our portfolio of know-how, tools, offers, products and solutions.
- The “transformation” category includes projects whose innovation has allowed the creation of favorable changes that have brought value to our business.
- And the “small yet smart” category in which we include innovations that, individually, may not create a lot of value but that, if implemented on a sufficient scale by replication, may provide interesting benefits to the company.
At the beginning of the year, potential candidates are asked to submit their entries. Said entries are then studied by the WIN network, made up of about forty members, to end up with a pre-selection for each category. Once these pre-selections are established, we submit them to all Worldline employees in order for them to vote for their favorite projects. These votes then determine two to four finalists in each category. These finalists then present their projects to a jury, from the WIN network. The winner in each category is then chosen based on these presentations. The winners are personally awarded and recognized through a gift, a ceremony, a trophee, a poster on which they, and their project, are featured, and an invitation to the First Prize trip. The winners’ posters are displayed across all our offices. The First Prize for the 2015 winners was an innovation-themed trip to Valencia in Spain.
How have the WIN Awards evolved since their inception?
Since their creation eight years ago, the WIN Awards have known an unwavering success. Indeed, in the past seven editions, 1,200 team members have participated in the WIN Awards with 865 projects, generating over 20,000 votes from our employees. We are also pleased to see “serial innovators” who consistently submit projects year after year, and even some who contribute to several projects in a single year.
The categories have also been slightly refined along the years in order to make room for any and all projects. Communications, including the above-mentioned posters, have also evolved nicely and reflect a degree of innovation, while keeping the same baseline “1001 ways to innovate. What are yours?”. Finally, the WIN Awards have also grown geographically: most of our countries were represented in 2015.
Can you tell us about the 2015 WIN Awards and the winning projects?
In 2015, we received about sixty projects from which about thirty were pre-selected to be submitted to employee voting. In the end, fifteen finalists presented their projects in front of the WIN jury who declared the following winners:
- “Customer project” category: Home-Connect, connected appliances project for a major customer holding a family of home appliances brands.
- “Asset creation” category: Zero Effort Payment, a demonstrator of proximity payment with a smartphone without having to take it out of your pocket.
- “Transformation” category: CMDE, alias Connected Machine Data Enabler, a differenciating mobile connectivity solution including reprogrammable SIM cards.
- “Small yet smart” category: KT Quiz, knowledge transfer project through gamification.
Thank you for your time today, Denis. I will leave you with one final question: if you could invent a new innovative solution to help with one of your daily tasks, in your professional and/or private life, what would it be and why?
I would be really happy to find something which would allow us to quickly absorb more content that comes in linear form, such as video or audio recordings: while it’s relatively easy to read a text quickly or diagonally, with podcasts or conferences, it’s another kettle of fish!
Discover an exclusive behind-the-scenes video
of the WIN Awards photoshoot and the 2015 First Prize trip
Learn more about the WIN Awards from the 2015 winners