Innov’Up at La Poste (French mail company)
Aude Le Carpentier is in charge of Innov’Up Creativity, in the Service-Mail-Parcel sector of La Poste. She’s a 27 year-old manager of a team of 15 creative people, helping business teams to develop innovative services. She kindly accepted to answer our questions on the story of Innov’Up.
1) What is ‘the reason why’ for Innov up Creativity? Where does it come from?
Innov’Up Creativity, as known today, had been rebuilt from scratch a year ago. We hired a new team and started innovating. Innov’up Creativity is aimed at helping La Poste be part of the future.
We work on new products, services or processes.
2) What is the value proposition for your customers? Who are they? What are the deliverables?
Our customers can be either internal or external. We support them from the ideas generation to their implementation on the market with agility by uniting multidisciplinary project teams.
We do not work for our customers; we work with them as a team. They have the knowledge, the expertise about the subject. Moreover, having them in the team make them more implicated in the project. Once our work is done, they keep working on it with motivation.
3) How does it work to initiate a challenge? Does the business unit have to pay? How long before must it be anticipated?
Usually, a client comes to us with a problem. It could be for example, the fact that the customers of La Poste are not satisfied enough with the services that the mailmen do. After searching for the reasons of dissatisfaction as well as the entire process of delivering mail, we organized four creativity workshop with the client and experts to find out solutions.
We came up with the idea of a Bluetooth earphone, ELSA that helps the mailman in every step of his delivery. When he enters a building, he can ask Elsa if there is any subscription to a service, or if Mr. Dupont still pays for a forwarding. That is the kind of project we work on.
Our approach was composed of 3 steps:
- Use the design thinking to study the uses and get as many ideas as possible;
- Unite experts to detect the technological solutions;
- Do one proof of concept.
Today, we are about to test ELSA on mailmen. Those who helped us develop the product already like to use it, but we have to test it on many others. For this step, the motivation of our client is essential.
4) What typical framework do you use to coach a challenge? What are the skills of your team to support this framework?
After agreeing on the objective of the challenge, we propose our clients to meet every week. They are the one who decide on the dates. We define the different creativity workshop, and start working. We have three months for the framing, the immersion and the ideation. After three months, the concept is accurate enough, and the next step is experimenting.
The Innov’up creativity team has many different skills from designers to projects managers. We are able to manage a project from the idea to its experimentation only with our team members. Plus, everyone here has a specialty; knowledge in insurance, gamification, communication…
For every project, each one can ask to be part of it and we form a team with a graphic designer, a project manager and a creative designer.
5) What was the most difficult part to achieve? How are the outputs of your innovation sessions transformed into concrete offerings? Do you measure a success ratio?
As I said, we created a brand new Innov’up Creativity a year ago. Having the support of our superior, being known as people doing a good job in innovation was not a piece of cake. Now we have more propositions than we can possibly achieve.
We measure our success on the number of projects people ask us to work on but also on the money La Poste makes with the partnerships we create or the products we develop.
6) What is your next challenge? The next steps for Innov up?
We just started working with big references such as Carrefour or Auchan. We are delighted to work with new clients on such nice projects. Having a bigger team is a goal we would like to reach in 2017.
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Nicolas Bry is a senior VP at Orange Innovation Group. Serial innovator, he set-up creative BU with an international challenge, and a focus on new TV experiences. Forward thinker, he completed a thesis on “Rapid Innovation”, implemented successfully at Orange, further developed in his writings. He tweets @nicobry
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