Brightidea took some time at Birds of a Feather to speak with Julianna Benedick, Director of Marketing for Panasonic, about the structure and breadth of Panasonic’s Brightidea-powered innovation program.
Julianna feels strongly that innovation functions best as a democratic process, and that mantra was employed right down to their program’s name, SPARKZ. The program relied on input from all levels of their organization to build a brand identity, starting with the name, color scheme, and communications platform.
SPARKZ is centralized in the operations arm of Panasonic’s marketing department, but they are working to expand collaborative innovation to other departments, so they play a role in managing the process. Heavily involving other departments furthers Julianna’s goal of creating a democratic innovation program that spans the entire organization, even seeking input from their ace sales force, the Shark Team.
In addition to drawing on the collective knowledge of the organization, SPARKZ is also designed to serve the entire company, facilitating innovation in all departments, from marketing to supply-chain.
They have seen that, using this wide-reaching approach, small teams of only a few people can achieve greater innovation by creating departmental challenges and leveraging the fresh views of others.
To achieve their desired results, Julianna has learned from experience that it is critical to have iron-clad back-end processes in place to handle ideation and leverage the knowledge of the entire organization, with persons in various departments having ownership of individual pieces.
Watch the full video and hear what Julianna has to say on running innovation at Panasonic.
Stay tuned for more great Birds of a Feather 2014 presentations and insights.