Around two dozen of the digital security giant’s staff took part in the Pass training and now form an active community eager to promote innovation and accelerate change within the company.
The new forms of organization and collaboration for innovation are not completely unknown to this specialist in authentication technologies and data protection, which opened its own incubator as early as 2011. However, for a few years now, the company has been looking to go even further by promoting digital transformation throughout an organization that employs 15,000 people in 47 countries.
This sizeable task, which involves all departments having to embrace new processes, methods and approaches at all levels, can be seen as a miniature cultural revolution. “The transformation process affects all Gemalto’s divisions and offices,” explains vice-president in charge of training and development Christie Deydier. “These new ways of working can no longer be limited to the sole domain of R&D,” adds Cécile Eurendjian, director of marketing innovation for mobile services and the IoT. “The silos need to come down to allow all divisions to speed up their transformation by adopting new methods and a different mindset.”
The choice of the Pass was an obvious one in the context, especially as thecamp is located a stone’s throw from three of the group’s key sites: the R&D center at La Ciotat, the original production unit at Gémenos where the company’s innovations are tested, and the development center at Sophia Antipolis.
Forming a Core Group to Promulgate Change
An initial group of 18 employees with different backgrounds, from junior staff to heads of various departments, took part in around fifty workshops over a period of roughly five months. “We put a lot of thought into the group’s composition to make sure it would fulfil its task of being a lever for change within our own environment on a daily basis,” remembers Deydier. Each participant took three different courses on carefully selected subjects, such as the future of work, collective intelligence in organizations, systemic thinking, conceptualization, prototyping, etc.
As the sessions and weeks went by, the participants changed their perception and absorbed new practical and theoretical know-how. Two waypoints provided a means to check progress, with a final report drafted in which all could share their stories. “The Pass was quite an experience; we were shaken up both individually and as a group,” says Cécile Eurenjdian, who adds, “We now feel a need to share and make use of what we have learned for the benefit of the company as a whole.”
Creation of the “Mindset Accelerators”
At the end of the training course, a community of “mindset accelerators” was set up to allow the participants to test and pass on the acquired knowledge. This summer, its members invited Gemalto CEO Philippe Vallée to thecamp to explain the approach to him, an initiative rewarded by an invitation to present it to the company’s board meeting in October.
The mindset accelerators are currently working on creating a platform to facilitate exchanges as well as organizing meetings. Group members now spends 5-10% of their time explaining what they have learned to their co-workers, in order to change the culture within the company and stimulate innovation. As Christie Deydier sums up, “We go beyond our individual tasks by organizing ourselves differently, taking initiatives in an organic way, without waiting for things to come from above: that’s the real revolution!”