Imagine a world where you could create impact. Fast.
Welcome to #iDea. Company.
We are a community of Siemens employees who take ownership of innovation. We don’t wait to be told. We find ideas, we find skills, & we create impact. Fast.
What is #iDea. Company?
#iDea. Company is a fluid, self-organising group of employees in Siemens who are passionate about taking ownership of innovation at Siemens by experimenting with new & different ways of working. It doesn’t formerly exist in any organisation structure; employees volunteer portions of either their working or personal time to create impact for Siemens.
What does #iDea. Company do?
#iDea. Company provides employees who are independent & self-driven the space to test out ideas that might not make it elsewhere in Siemens. We live ownership culture & make new ways of working tangible by connecting employees & making change happen from the inside out.
Our objectives as a company are very simple:
We stand for values that support new, different & open ways of working:
How we’re organised
We are a self-organising, fluid community of volunteers, organised around 3 key focus areas:
We operate in accordance with a community-defined constitution. There is no formal hierarchy, board of similar of ‘managers; as much as possible responsibilities & autonomy are dissolved to contributors, who decide for themselves what to do, how & when.
How we work
We focus our activities using an OKR-approach (Objectives & Key Results). Each circle lead enables contributors within each focus area to decide how they will work toward the two company objectives, through the completion of 3-4 key results which are set every 12 weeks.
An advisory board & the CIO of the Siemens AG provide support & guidance as required.
The story so far
#iDea. Company was founded in 2016 by a handful of Siemens employees who wanted to test if it was possible to create impact for Siemens employees outside traditional hierarchies & organisational structures, quickly.
They did this by quickly thinking of, creating & releasing apps that made the lives of Siemens employees better, such as SieDial, a tool that enables employees to place phone calls on your mobile from your PC, EasyTimer, a tool that allows colleagues to find the best time to meet your colleagues, TaskMarket, an internal crowd-sourcing app that helps employees find skills for their tasks, or a task for their skills, & InstaGauge, an internal survey tool.
Proving their hypothesis that there were people in Siemens who wanted to take ownership & create impact, they ran an internal hackathon, Hackathon Days, in 2017 to spread their innovative mindset throughout the organisation.
Following the success of this initial event & building on some useful learnings, #iDea. Company went on to organise the next iteration, Futureland, in June 2018 which turned out to be Siemens biggest, internal innovation event.
#iDea. Company’s greatest achievement so far
Imagine a land where business challenges are addressed directly by employees, where colleagues across continents self-organize & work together to create impact. Imagine a global event that inspires, connects & empowers employees to deliver value through their innovation. Imagine a land that changes the very culture of our organization. Welcome to Futureland, Siemens biggest internal innovation event. Its legacy lives on, not only through the business value derived from the innovations produced, but in the new culture & conversations it has inspired.
To generate business value, #iDea. Company gathered 130+ pain points from Siemens divisions, 90% of which were addressed by more than 600 innovations generated at Futureland. To support Siemens priority & to make digitalisation work, solutions used 1 of 6 core technologies. Invention disclosures have been submitted & active start-ups forecast 7-figure savings. Qualifying Futureland’s value purely in cost savings misses some fundamental outputs. In preparation for the company’s strategy, Vision 2020+, Futureland opened employees to the benefit of change. With 5,000 participants from 61 countries, it facilitated collaboration across geographical & organizational silos. Gamification empowered participants to self-organize in 380 start-ups with 500 jury pitches in 2 days. Incentives to learn & teach via 200 trainings created an environment that allowed all skillsets to partake, experiment with new ways of working, learn, & turn ideas into impactful outcomes. We partnered with providers & universities to support talent acquisition & retention.
To ensure all of Siemens benefited we secured buy-in from divisions by offering innovative solutions to real challenges, & the opportunity for employees to up-skill & live ownership. We empowered participants to operate their own companies with the coin economy; start-ups earned coins through pitches, reduced travel & training, they invested in licenses & hardware, & distributed shares amongst team members. A challenge of hackathons is to involve non-technical; multiple game roles & virtual participation ensured that anyone could participate. We used a franchise model to build a global community who took ownership, secured local funding & hosted Futureland cities. This fostered a festival atmosphere; 250 participants camped in the office, shared cars, ran catering & networked overnight. A model for new & disruptive ways of working was created. Futureland courageously inspired employees to believe in their capacity to affect our success, & in the power of the Siemens collective.
Recognition for Futureland
Futureland has received both internal and external recognition:
• UK Chief Executive Award Sir William Siemens Gold Champions Award, November 2018
• The Enterprise Business Collaboration Bronze Award, November 2018
• Siemens Global HR Award 2019