VELUX Innovation Challenge – an explosion of ideas

“One experiment is better than a thousand expert views.”
Founder of VELUX, Villum Kann Rasmussen

Who is VELUX?

VELUX is a Danish manufacturing company that specializes in roof windows and skylights. VELUX employs 10,000 across 65 sites in nine countries.

This year, David Briggs became the new CEO of VELUX. Under his guidance the drive of innovation was reinginited, bringing the organization back to its core roots with the launch of their very first innovation challenge.  

What did VELUX aim to achieve?

  • Provide all employees within the organization a place to share their ideas
  • Harness the brainpower of VELUX employees
  • Encourage continuous improvement of products and processes

How we did it

VELUX serves as a leading example of how to successfully execute an innovation challenge. To ensure your innovation challenge reaches its maximum potential, keep in mind these four recommendations:

Establish ambassadors at each site: 65 employees served as ambassadors at each VELUX site to promote the innovation challenge and encourage involvement. This was a vital element to participation as corporate culture varied by each site and thus, different approaches were necessary to involve employees across various geographical regions.

Dedicate Project Managers and involve the CEO in communication to employees: The CEO as the driving force behind the innovation challenge was a key motivator and ensured company-wide participation. Further, top-level management displayed commitment to the innovation initiative through resource allocation. One project manager was assigned to managing the software, while another focused on stakeholder management.

Translate information related to the innovation challenge into local languages: With over 50% of employees consisting of blue collar workers, the ability to communicate in a common language was essential to participation. Videos explaining the innovation challenge were translated into 7 local languages. Further, employees were able to contact their site ambassador to assist in translating their idea from their native language to English. Therefore, the innovation challenge involved employees across all geographical regions, and increased overall participation among employees as non-English speakers were able to participate. This resulted in 301 blue collar workers who actively used the platform and submitted a total of 380 ideas.

Customize the platform and landing page: By internally branding the innovation challenge, VELUX was able to create excitement among employees, increase commitment to the initiative and ensure alignment of company values across the organization. See the customized landing page, here.

The result: an explosion of ideas

VELUX generated a record-breaking 450 high-potential ideas in the first two days. While the sheer number of ideas generated are impressive, the true indicator for a successful innovation challenge is the the ability of self-forming teams to generate viable business opportunities.

VELUX is currently in the screening phase where the top 6 idea teams will be determined. Next, the final teams will attend an idea boot camp where they will receive training related to pitching their idea. Stay tuned to see the winning idea announced by VELUX in December!

Is your company ready to set a new innovation record? Contact one of our experienced innovation consultants @nos.co.