EnergyAustralia transforms its business by embedding a culture of innovation
Australia’s leading energy provider is using its Crowdicity community, Innov8@EA, to access the innovative thinking of their employees in order to meet the challenges of the future.
Powerful creative energy
Innovation is a key strategic imperative for EnergyAustralia (EA) as it pivots towards the sustainable energy solutions needed for the future. Their Crowdicity community has helped them spark creative thinking in people throughout the organisation, from power station engineers in New South Wales to call centre employees in Manila.
Connecting a diverse workforce
Before implementing Crowdicity, EA had been sourcing external business intelligence at a significant cost. But it was clear that there was already a deep well of knowledge held within its workforce, they just needed a way to access it. However, teams were working in silos and spread out across multiple sites, with no easy route for cross-collaboration, and no understanding of what innovation could mean for the business.
The spark that changes everything
The answer was Crowdicity. Since launching Innov8@EA in 2017, EA has experienced a culture shift towards innovation at every level of the business. The platform has made it easy to tap into the creativity of all their employees, without having to deploy major resource to do so. In fact, the Innov8@EA platform is currently managed by a single person!
Innov8@EA is an important program for establishing a culture of innovation within our business, creating new ideas, different ways of thinking and making sure people are open-minded. We launched over two years ago and have received over 180 ideas from across the business and over 700 comments to help them build those out. I’m really impressed with the levels of collaboration on the Crowdicity crowdsourcing platform.
Bringing existing skills to the surface
To launch the platform successfully, a comprehensive comms plan was designed to help build anticipation and excitement around the possibilities offered by Innov8@EA. To overcome the challenges of engaging with a diverse, distributed workforce, EA held roadshows across the business, getting people to understand the joy and power of innovation. Of course, most EA employees were already great problem solvers. Innov8@EA simply gave them a place where they could share ideas, further develop their thinking, collaborate with colleagues, and see their ideas through to implementation.
Collaboration is imperative
EA has since recruited a network of ‘Innovation Troopers’ from across the business. These are Innov8@EA’s most engaged users, who act as ambassadors for the platform, persuading their colleagues to get involved, submit their own ideas and collaborate with others.
One further benefit of Innov8@EA is that employees across the business are using it to connect with each other. The community has made it easier to discover colleagues with similar ideas and interests, and reach out. It’s broken down the silos and created a more closely networked business.
The joy of innovation
EA runs quarterly challenges on Innov8@EA, where ideas are submitted, commented on and shortlisted via a public vote. Authors of successful ideas join an innovation masterclass, in which they produce a filmed final pitch. These films are presented to EA executives at a showcase, where colleagues from across the business can vote for an overall winner. It’s a popular and fun process which has yielded some outstanding results.
There’s a constant flow of ideas that emerge from these challenges, and ideas from previous challenges are also reviewed regularly in case they can be implemented. There is already a huge amount of material to work with.
Brighter thinking, better business
Innov8@EA has helped create a culture where employees are no longer nervous to share their ideas; instead, they’ve been empowered to think creatively and change EA for the better. Innovation is highly valued, and that’s a message that’s come from the top: in the last challenge, EA’s CEO commented on every single idea submitted. EA’s goal has been to instil an entrepreneurial mindset in every employee, and Crowdicity has helped them achieve that.
Through Innov8@EA everyone is encouraged to put forward ideas that help solve challenges in the energy industry. People are inspired to think differently, and everyone here has an opportunity to make a difference. I want to be a part of the transition from coal to renewables, and I feel I can be a part of that here.