Onion peeling and visualizing ideas – Posti’s innovation program continues
”Innovation is like peeling an onion...some of the layers can make you cry. And that’s completely ok.” - Karoline Kwon, Lead designer and coach at Posti’s innovation program.
The second week of Posti’s innovation program, X-celerator, involved some serious onion peeling for the participants. Although tears may have been avoided, the teams faced real challenges. Time was scarce and teams had to make quick decisions – difficult and unclear at first but an important part of the journey. 🧅 In successful innovation work, you always start from the customer. Also in the X-celerator, one of the first tasks for the teams was to conduct customer interviews or surveys. Talking to customers helped the teams to understand customers’ needs and narrow down their ideas. Coaches emphasized that it is crucial to listen to customers’ concerns. Even though, sometimes it hurts to prove your assumption wrong and realize that customers may not like your preliminary idea. Edi Taukul, one of the participants in the innovation program, works as a Warehouse Manager in Tallinn, Estonia. For Edi, this is the first time participating in an innovation program. “I’m looking forward to seeing how this innovation journey continues. This experience will help us in our future projects. During the first exercise, I interviewed our warehouse customers and it was a very positive practice overall - they were happy to talk about their needs,” says Edi. Kari Nykänen, responsible for Posti's warehouse service for small and medium sized companies, is in the same innovation team with Edi. Kari was also a participant in the previous X-celerator program, and to be precise, one of the winners. Alongside the continuous project of last year, he now has his eyes set on another topic. Like Edi, Kari found interviewing customers very valuable. “Due to my daily work, I had a list of companies that would fit the profile, but as I didn't know the companies, I made some "cold calling". The most challenging part is starting the conversation with a customer who is not prepared for my call - but once you break the ice, it is fun to discuss with customers about their experiences. You start to understand the logic behind the customer's business decisions,” Kari says. The innovation journey provides structure to the process, and sometimes it does not go smoothly. Positive attitude and working closely with a team helps to get good results.
Posti's 2-month innovation program, X-celerator, aims to bring together people from across the organization to work together, cultivate innovation and learn new skills. Participants get a chance to witness their own ideas become a reality.