Business Design Thinking as a Tool for Employee Engagement

Oh, and you might just get some amazing ideas as well
Business Design Thinking as a Tool for Employee Engagement
Publ. date 14 May 2014
Companies looking for innovation opportunities in the sustainability arena are increasingly applying collaborative processes: both within the company as well as with customers, business partners or other stakeholders. Open innovation and co-creation are fine examples of how organizations are becoming more transparent and receptive of external influences. But let’s not overlook the brainpower within the company. Spurring collaboration between employees across departments and by challenging them to come up with new solutions and concepts will not only bring forward new opportunities for innovation: it is also a great way to get people engaged.

Customer case: Telenet Mini & Maxi workshop sessions

At Telenet, ‘Mini’ and ‘Maxi’ workshops are introduced within the company to generate ideas on sustainable innovation. Aligned with Telenet’s service offerings branding for those with a small or large appetites such as KING and KONG for their mobile services, the sessions are aimed at either taking a short time to cook up ideas for new solutions during the Mini-workshop, or really digging deep on generating concepts that address habits and concerns in the customer’s daily life at the Maxi business design thinking workshop.

Last March, for example, at team of Telenet managers gathered for a short session and produced a number of business solutions for reducing the energy use of the Telenet services at the customers’ location while at the same time improving customer convenience: from e-metering and a Personal Entertainment Advisor, to making online shopping safer and easier. To nurture the most compelling concepts into reality, feedback is provided to the relevant business units where the next steps towards realization are defined.

Telenet’s leap towards sustainability and innovation

Idea generation for (new) business concepts cover one or several of Telenet’s 14 material issues: the concerns that have been selected by the company’s stakeholders (varying from reliable service and the energy consumption of the Telenet equipment at the customer’s home, to privacy and security). Overall, the Mini & Maxi workshops contribute to the goal of creating a culture of sustainable innovation within the company.

Telenet fuels its innovation ability in a number of different ways, for example by supporting startups  in an accelerator program, which also stimulates internal entrepreneurship. The company has also developed a number of talent development programs for young professionals and promising Telenet middle managers which have a focus on innovation and generating new business concepts.


Have you become inspired to get your team together for some quality brainstorming time? Or do you want to talk about stimulating innovation or employee engagement at your company? Please contact Nikkie Vinke, Senior Consultant, at or call +31 6 28 02 18 80 for more information and ideas.

Image source:  Giorgio Montersino on Flickr,  under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license

About Nikkie Vinke

Multidisciplinary advisor in ESG benchmarking, sustainability strategy development and execution. |

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