From Idea to value creation
Having ideas, making things happen ... that's what has been motivating me for almost 30 years! I started in Refining in the early 1990s as a researcher in process for chemistry. Then quite classically, I moved to more operational functions: technical assistance to refineries, technical departments ... Then, I joined the “business” as Director Refining and Supply France until 2015. The Mission Innovation of the Refining Chemistry branch was created that year.
A magnificent challenge: instilling a culture of innovation on all our sites and in all trades!
The page was not entirely white ... The Group's first Innovation department, launched in 2012 by the Marketing & Services division, was a valuable source of inspiration. Thus, we are now using the same collaborative platform, BUILD'INN - designed by MS - to bounce all our colleagues on ideas. All Group employees can access a suggestion box, make suggestions, bounce back on the proposed actions, participate in thematic challenges ... This tool has helped to build a process and define an innovation strategy in which everyone can feel involved . Including the operator of a factory that originally thought they had no latitude to innovate ... The first message we have worked on is that "small steps" are also sources of value creation. And do not hesitate to propose, express yourself, test. The second message is that you have to accept that an idea may not bring enough benefit. In this case, you have to know how to stop and move on ...
More agile, more creative in a procedural context
In a world increasingly constrained by standards, certifications, safety, costs, competitiveness ... innovation is understood as a "space of freedom" where nothing is prohibited! Each collaborator individually or collectively can be the author of an improvement ... And this is where we must make the distinction between R & D and innovation. The first transforms ideas into patents, technological advances for the industry ... The second creates value on our sites. Another big difference, innovation is transverse, it concerns all trades: commercial offers, working methods, human resources, organization ... Unlike research focused on scientific and technological aspects. Both are complementary!
The objective is to accompany the carriers of ideas, to play a catalytic role
The Innovation Mission team is composed of two permanent employees, a fixed-term contract as required, a VIE and two apprentices. The team runs two venues in Brussels and La Défense, conducive to creativity and the implementation of different working methods (included in the Booster network). We help employees to complete their ideas and especially to implement them. One-to-one coaching can be put in place if necessary to promote agility and move from idea to value creation. In addition to this support, the innovation strategy is based on training (methods, role of managers, tools, etc.), challenges of local ideas (Innovathons), and the valorization of collaborators of ideas (RC Awards, Innovation of the Quarter).
In 2019, the Innovation Mission received a hundred applications, for 6 finalists and 3 winners. Today 2/3 of the innovations are technological, 1/3 relates to the support functions. The RC Awards will be launched in Learning Expedition (LEX), a "thematic trip" that focuses on openness, inspiration, experience and sharing of ideas. The 2018 LEX? A meeting on a Solvay industrial site, piloting drones, a conference on brain modeling, accelerating learning through computer games ...
In 2017, we launched the concept Innobus, the first two tours were for European sites, the one in 2019 was for American sites (Innotruck). The objective? Raise awareness and share with employees on a selection of innovations through an experiential journey. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the teams of industrial sites that innovate every day. A complement to the Innodays of the Group. A success !
Please have a look at the following videos: