"Better together" also valid for innovation at Bekaert
Cases - 20.10.2022
'Better Together' is the company slogan at Bekaert, a world market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coating technologies.
To map the innovation profiles of their employees Veerle Van Wassenhove, VP Group Innovation, and Renaat Geldhof, Global HRBP Digital, Innovation & Sustainability decided to work together with us. Based on the objective insights of INNDUCE.me, they can now put together strong and complementary innovation teams and accelerate the innovation of Bekaert together with their employees.
"We were already working with Creax for projects around enablement, ideation and innovation management," says Veerle Van Wassenhove, Vice-President Group Innovation and as such responsible for the innovation transversal - both collectively and in collaboration with the business units. "When INNDUCE.me was launched as a spin-off, we were immediately interested because their cases are science-based. At the time, we were conducting focus groups to map the innovation culture within Bekaert: what stimulates innovation, what stands in the way? Small example: no matter how many Innovation Masters you have in your organization, if innovation ideas don't surface, those Masters won't be able to do much. A receptive culture for innovation, is a challenge with us: as a technology leader in most of our industries, we have many engineers, who focus on implementation, stability, risk mitigation and continuous improvement. This certainty-seeking attitude still leaves too little room for ideation and disruptive innovation."
"In that context, we were also looking for a well-founded way to identify and strengthen innovation competences and skills within the organization," adds Renaat Geldhof, Bekaert's Global HR Business Partner for Advanced Digital Solutions (ADS), Technology & Innovation and Sustainability. "INNDUCE.me gave us the opportunity to be able to take a 'group photo' of a significant number of people directly or indirectly related to innovation in a simple but scientifically based way. That photo could then be placed alongside our innovation strategy : what is our chance of success and what should we consider in the event of further development? Furthermore, we want to use the results to better staff our innovation teams and recruit more targeted innovation profiles. The good news was that this group picture turned out very well overall: if we added up all the innovation profiles of the different business units, we got a nice group with a lot of innovation potential. The downside is that the potential is very fragmented across all those units and entities - with that insight and framework, we can get started. So it's an opportunity to work with those insights and follow them up properly."
"What particularly charmed me was not only the scientific underpinning of those assessments, but also the fact that the tool doesn't stop at labelling and - via e-learnings - immediately provides methods with which people can evolve," Veerle adds.
"Moreover, by recognizing profiles better, as an organization you can arrive at a good and balanced mix of skillsets in projects. We are not at that stage yet, but we are looking forward to deploying cross-unit innovation dream teams that can think out-of-the-box and achieve success in really challenging innovation projects. After all, that is where we need to be able to staff thoughtfully and opportunistically."
Bekaert is a world market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coating technologies. Bekaert pursues to be the preferred supplier for its steel wire products and solutions by continuously delivering superior value to its customers worldwide. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with more than 27 000 employees worldwide, headquarters in Belgium and € 5.9 billion in combined revenue.