Autoliv’s Evolving Innovation Program with Director Greg Thompson

Often a presenter at annual Birds of a Feather events, Autoliv Director of Corporate Engineering Greg Thompson took a back seat this year to listen and learn from other innovation program leaders. “I’m not speaking and I’m trying very hard not to ask questions. I’m trying very much to take a passive role to see what everybody else is talking about.” For Greg, it was informative to hear about everyone else’s innovation journey, challenges, questions, thoughts and insights within the industry this year. While each company, its products and locations are very different, Greg finds that the challenges faced among innovation program leaders is the same, and an event like Birds of a Feather enables these leaders to work together as a community to solve key issues.

Autoliv’s innovation program has grown quite significantly over the past several year, and Greg shares insights from their journey as well as initiatives that his team is running today.

While Autoliv’s innovation platform and usage of Brightidea’s technology has mainly stayed the same, they’ve introduced new use cases to their program. Specifically, in addition to running time-boxed innovation Challenges focused on a specific topic, they’ve started running a continuously open Challenge in one of their three main corporate regions spanning the US, Europe and Asia.

Additionally, Autoliv is expanding their innovation program internationally through localization, specifically for their office in China. By designing an innovation Challenge for the teams in China, Autoliv was able to capture their market needs. Autoliv continues to experiment with their program to explore new ways to innovate internally.

As the 2014 Birds of a Feather event was held at Quicken Loans headquarters in Detroit, where Greg also resides, he highlighted the progress and impact in the city. Greg believes that the city’s capable, intelligent people will further drive growth and innovation in Detroit.

Stay tuned to the Brightidea blog for more insights from Birds of a Feather 2014.