Global innovation challenge for Unilin

A story of intrapreneurship, talent management, innovation, and technology.

Challenge

Fostering an intra-preneurial culture.

Founded in the sixties, UNILIN is a world player in the flooring industry. In 1990, UNILIN patented Quick-Step, a glueless flooring solution, and is the company’s bestseller today. Quick-Step is just an example of the approach of this company, which bets on innovation, technology, and human capital to provide their customers with products that are increasingly easy-to-install, eco-friendly and durable.

In 2016, UNILIN asked Board of Innovation to foster an intrapreneurial culture within the organization and to equip UNILIN’s employees with innovative mindsets and methodologies. Nice to have: actionable innovation projects to further develop.

Innovation thrives on entrepreneurship. Arena brought a lot of positive energy and made our most entrepreneurial employees step forward, coming up with refreshing new business ideas to be part of it. Focused boot camps and Board of Innovation’s lean start-up coaching of Arena finalists led to validated business cases in less than half a year.

Jorrit Gillijns Innovation Manager, Unilin

Solution

The UNILIN Arena, a 9-month Ideation & Development Track.

To reach these goals, Board of Innovation designed and facilitated a 9-month Intrapreneurship Program composed of an Ideation Track and a Development Track, referred to internally as “UNILIN Arena”.

During the Ideation Track, we inspired all employees in the global organization to submit creative ideas on a voluntary basis and within the requirements of UNILIN’s strategy. We gathered more than 100+ business ideas and funneled them to five winning concepts, together with UNILIN’s executives.

These five business concepts were admitted to the Development Track, where Board of Innovation supported them in the creation and validation of their business ideas to be able to convince the direction committee to invest in them, just like internal startups.

Impact

100+ intrapreneurs inspired, with two innovative projects in the pipeline.

Two out of five teams saw their business ideas awarded by UNILIN, which invested, allowed for further development, and included them into the company’s global innovation pipeline.

The overall initiative of UNILIN Arena got picked up by the Belgian newspaper (article in Dutch) and is set to be repeated in 2018.

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