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Inside out innovation at Telus

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Inside out innovation at Telus

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Open innovation is an increasingly well known concept, as organizations seek to get more out of the talent at their disposal, whether that talent is officially theirs or not.  Obviously the most well known kind of open innovation is the outside in variety, whereby organizations seek to bring in knowledge and ideas from outside and apply it to problems or challenges they’re facing.  Crowdsourcing is the embodiment of this.

There is also the inside out variety of open innovation however, and whilst it’s not as well known, it is equally powerful.  Amazon are probably the best example of this, as they have taken their expertise in retailing and offered that expertise to other retailers.  Hundreds of small shops have thus setup on the Amazon platform and are now offering their wares via the marked leading eCommerce site in the world.

There’s a nice example along these lines recently that is close to my own heart.  Last summer I had a coffee with Flat Army author, and 8 Steps to Social Business contributor, Dan Pontefract, where he said how his employer, TELUS, were so pleased with the work that he’d done in transforming their company culture, that they were hoping to begin offering these services to other companies.

Obviously a lot of work had to go on to make this a reality, but the announcement was officially made yesterday, and the TELUS Transformation Office was born.  The new office will focus on five core areas of transformation:

  • leadership and culture
  • digital readiness and connected learning
  • career and talent services
  • onboarding and induction
  • flexible work styles

“In today’s competitive business environment, a strong organizational culture can be a company’s most powerful and sustainable source of competitive advantage because it drives employee engagement, customer satisfaction and financial results,” Dan said. “While there are a number of organizations that offer organizational consulting, we not only offer firsthand experience, having successfully progressed through our own transformation, but we also combine leadership consulting with technology to drive very compelling businesses results.”

It’s a fascinating project and one that’s well worth keeping an eye on.  I remember last summer reading (and reviewing) Dan’s Flat Army book.  It was hard to argue with the fantastic results Dan had achieved at TELUS as a result of his methods.  My one reservation was how transferable those methods might be to other organizations that had different contexts to the one at TELUS.  This will be a great chance to put that to the test, and I wish Dan and his team the best of luck.

You can find out more about the new office via the video below.

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