Creativity is becoming one of the most valuable intangible assets for companies, amidst the global disruptive landscape we live in.

The digital transformation starts with you

Photo: The digital transformation starts with you. Credit: Unsplash

Traditionally, it was understood that it was the big fish that eats the little one. But in this new world of business, managed at high speed, it’s the fast fish that eats the slow one. Instead of size or historical momentum, it’s flexibility and a fast response to digital challenges that will shape the future of companies.  

This is where creativity can play a decisive role. It’s a true game changer and one that leads to the following reflection: How does quality creative thinking take place? Where can imaginative solutions to real and everyday problems be generated at an operational level, in the next generation of companies?  

This was a key question that Stendhal Mexico, the pharmaceutical lab dedicated to high specialty drugs and primary care in Latin America, decided to answer last summer.  

Perhaps the treasure of creativity was hidden among their workforce, the people involved in the daily operations and, therefore, those who are closer to the needs of both the client and the company itself.  

Innovacción is the name of the pilot initiative, launched last fall, and made available to any collaborator who wanted to be part of this new approach to innovation. A recipe, whose ingredients - disruptive ideas and agile methodologies – would promote a new culture which featured entrepreneurship and connection with the ecosystem as key elements.   

The program included people-centered design processes such us Design Thinking and Lean Startup. These two methodologies are complementary and ensure that new product ideas are validated quickly, which was one of the key challenges we identified during the first phase. Then, more challenges were added: how can we strengthen the role of the medical representative with innovative solutions, how can we better reach end users through new business models, or how can we improve access to the public sector? We also worked on fully understanding the needs of clients and tweaking business models to accommodate local peculiarities.  

Before the pitching phase began, all participants received initial training via Master Classes in order to boost the angle and quality of their ideas. After analyzing 133 proposals registered by mid-October, we narrowed it down to 80 potential candidates. Each and everyone, then had to pass the scrutiny of an executive committee, which was established to select 9 finalists.   

The nine candidates defended their ideas before the committee, in a final pitching session. The result: 3 winning projects. Three imaginative and viable solutions to redesigning the ordering process, streamlining financial planning and the use of video in drug prescriptions.    

32 weeks of work, 160 employees and 20 managers were trained in methodologies and management of innovation projects. A final rating of 8.25 encourages us to continue collaborating in this pilot program that will be soon celebrating future editions.