Saint-Gobain PAM (SG PAM), a premier supplier of iron productions to the water, construction and utilities industries, with an established and long-standing market share.
Work Psychology Group (WPG) worked alongside SG PAM to help promote a wider culture of innovation and specifically to gain insight into factors influencing innovation within the SG PAM context. A multi-stage approach was conducted that intended to increase self-awareness of individual and team innovative capacity, increase understanding of behavioural enablers and inhibitors of innovation, as well as identify areas for personal and team development.
Over the last few years SG PAM has begun to experience competition from overseas. Recognising the need to be more innovative, the organisation was interested in exploring ways to develop the capacity to innovate in a number of key areas, in turn promoting a wider culture of innovation and ultimately providing added value for its customers. They sought the expertise of WPG to support them with this initiative. A case study approach was identified as an ideal way of exploring their key objectives as it enabled insight into factors influencing innovation within the SG PAM context, as well as at a team level. SG PAM identified one of its New Product Development (NPD) teams as a suitable team to undertake this case study exercise which also provided the NPD team with an opportunity to reflect on their group and individual behaviours that influenced innovation outcomes.
A multi-stage approach targeting development of innovation behaviours and practice at a team and individual level was employed to contribute to the development of a case study which would enable further insight into the factors influencing innovation within SG PAM.
Stage 1: Innovation Potential Profiling
We recommended the use of innovation profiling using the Innovation Potential Indicator (IPI), as this would allow both the individual and team to develop selfawareness in relation to their innovation capacity and explore the propensity within the team to set objectives and drive through innovation within the business. IPI feedback at both a team and an individual level helped the team understand their role within the innovation process and how they could contribute to enhancing the innovation culture within the organisation.
Stage 2: Map of Innovation
To continue individuals’ reflection on the innovation process within SG PAM, a Map of Innovation Workshop was held. The Map of Innovation is a knowledge elicitation tool used to explore innovation through creating a visual representation of the innovation process.This process allowed employees to gain a greater awareness of the skills and behaviours necessary for managing or supporting innovation in others, with a particular focus on understanding the enablers and inhibitors of innovation for this team at a behavioural level.
Stage 3: Roadmap Session
The final stage of the project was a road mapping session, which took the form of a behavioural observation exercise. Members of the NPD Team were observed by us, engaging in group discussions regarding new projects and innovations within SG PAM.The focus of this stage was to see how the team responded to an exercise which incorporated some of their current work. Our aim was to identify specific skills gaps for individual team members and areas of development for the team as a whole.
Using this approach, we were able to provide SG PAM with further insight into understanding innovative behaviours within the organisational culture. Additionally, by considering the themes emerging with regards to the inhibitors within the NPD team, we were able to provide recommendations to assist with enhancing innovative behaviour.The case study produced a model which outlined the key enablers and inhibitors to innovation within the NPD team. Importantly, this model could then be taken and adapted for other areas and teams within the business.
SG PAM are keen to continue developing a culture of innovation across their organisation and as such we are continuing to collaborate in this area. Specifically, we are working with their leadership team, in providing the environment necessary to promote behaviour to support innovation throughout SG PAM.
“WPG have worked collaboratively with us, to support the development of innovation capacity within employees at Saint-Gobain PAM. Taking a bespoke approach, they have enabled us to explore some of the key behaviours acting as enablers and inhibitors of innovation in our context, and helped us to generate a valuable dialogue in this area.Using their expertise, WPG have provided us with the potential to continue identifying, developing and managing these behaviours in order to promote a culture conducive to innovation across our organisation.”
Mark Esling, Business Development Director, Saint-Gobain PAM UK