How Cabot Broke Free of Innovation Constraints and Went Global

How Cabot Broke Free of Innovation Constraints and Went Global
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When John Jaddou was brought into Cabot as Director of New Business Development/Scouting & Innovation it was for the same reasons many other enterprises have sought innovation program help: The Boston-based company’s innovation efforts – constrained by traditional brainstorming techniques, geography, and ineffective tools – needed a shot in the arm.

The charter for John and his team was to enhance Cabot’s innovation capacity, transform the organization’s culture to embrace new thinking, identify market opportunities and solve complex problems. They needed a process that could organize the various moving parts, including encouraging employee participation, and measuring successes effectively.

Using the Brightidea platform, Jaddou and his team were able to create a process that included:

  • Establishing a core team to work with business units to identify challenges and opportunities
  • Identifying an innovation champion to rally/inspire the workforce
  • Crowdsourcing ideas in three key areas – technical, commercial and marketing – using time-boxed challenges
  • Using a combination of physical and virtual events to promote challenge launches and encourage employee participation
  • Creating a system for evaluating, prioritizing and moving ideas forward

This innovation process changed everything about the way Cabot brainstormed ideas, taking them beyond small groups in a local room, cut off from the rest of the 4600-person workforce, and streamlining the collaborative process so it could be open and global, but organized.

Notes Jaddou, “Constructing a virtual space where people can share their knowledge and collaborate wherever they are and anytime they want, coupled with the right physical environment that fosters rich conversations is really powerful.”

Especially when everyone knows where and how to participate, and what’s happening with innovation throughout the company.

Here are some of the results Cabot experienced:

  • Two ideas expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for the company – both from a single campaign
  • Collaborative knowledge sharing and a central repository of corporate knowledge
  • Increased employee participation due to physical/virtual hybrid promotion and incentives

Having a streamlined platform and process to support the efforts driven by a dedicated innovation team was what Cabot needed to achieve innovation success. What does YOUR company need?

To learn more about how Brightidea transformed Cabot’s collaborative innovation efforts, read the complete case study here.