Foster a culture of innovation
The EP brings together 14,000 employees, as many talents who are bubbling with innovative ideas… I made this observation when I returned from Indonesia in 2012, when I was asked to lead the Innovation Expertise Course * of the EP.
I was a geoscientist, whereas everything predestined me for research, I had hitherto been much more passionate about operational subjects all around the planet. I was recruited by Elf Aquitaine in 1989, I held several positions in quite varied fields relating to both the exploration and the development of fields in production.
An Innovation entity to mobilize collective intelligence
The EP * Innovation Expertise Course was among the Group's first attempts to bring up ideas internally and give their authors the opportunity to transform them into projects. The initiative was born from a simple observation: the company often found it difficult to integrate disruptive phenomena, it too often missed trends for not being able to anticipate them. So why not take advantage of the brainpower of PE people to bring out projects implementing the expertise of tomorrow? I found this dynamic around collaborative innovation very interesting and I told myself that we had to go further: a few projects every year were not enough. In 2016, I proposed to create an Innovation EP entity, as the other branches had already done. After a few pitches in front of the CDEP: Banco! The position of EP innovation manager was created and the entity gradually grew as we demonstrated its added value. We apply what we profess: THINK GLOBAL & START SMALL. FAIL QUICK is also important because it allows you to quickly focus on the most valuable subjects. In innovation, the speed of implementation of solutions on the market (TIME TO MARKET) is essential.
A network of correspondents, governance, events ...
The EP did not wait for the creation of the innovation entity to innovate: our R&D colleagues in particular have always contributed strongly to innovation in the sector and the pioneering spirit is part of our corporate DNA . What we have added is a common base of tools and methods of innovation. It is also a culture of innovation which allows everyone to unleash their creative energy and which irrigates all professions, not just a few happy few but all employees in technology or support professions. We had to put the bricks together: create a network, define a governance of ideas, set up events and tools to mobilize collective intelligence. And so that everything goes faster, we integrate a new fuel: digital!
The results speak for themselves: around 5,000 employees from EP have already connected to the BUILD’INN collaborative platform, whether to submit an idea or to comment on that of a colleague. Major events like INNOVATHON (the EP challenge which takes place every two years) bring together several hundred people around a theme with a stake in PE. The 2019 edition on the theme of environmental performance brought up 380 ideas in 3 weeks! The PE (The Best Innovators) innovation competition recorded a record number of applications in 2019: 125! Much remains to be done in particular in the duplication of innovations in all the entities of the sector but also in Open Innovation: that is to say, a better connection of the EP with the world of startups and other large groups.
… And a space for creation and prototyping, the Booster Pau
I had the chance to participate in the design of the Booster in Paris with Michael Offredi, Christine Halliot, Sylvain Clémendot and the other innovation and digital managers in the branches. And I always thought that this place should be used on other sites to make a network. A “little brother” was born at the EP, a surface area of 600 m² operational since January 17, 2019. It is a place run by a team that offers an innovation acceleration service by implementing methods and tools from the world of startups (agile development, design thinking, Business model canvas, etc.). It offers personalized coaching of people and projects, meetings with start-ups, events ... A real success that today exceeds our expectations with more than 240 requests for support, a hundred collective intelligence workshops already carried out as well as 70 prototyping solutions!