A BT Innovation case studyEnergizer Battery Innovation that keeps on going“I am conﬁdent that we are in BT innovation consultants help Energizer see newa better place today than we avenues to sustainable business growthwere before working with BT. Wehave much more to learn fromyou, and will be working to pull A business built on innovationtogether a meeting in the coming Energizer Battery is one of the world’s RTEC is part of the US-based Corporatemonths to talk more about other leading manufacturers of premium batteries Executive Board, which provides bestways to embed innovation into and ﬂashlights and is possibly best known practice research, decision supportour culture.” for its advertising campaign featuring tools, and executive education to aJoseph W. McClanathan the unstoppable Energizer Bunny. Part of membership that includes the world’sPresident and CEO Energizer Holdings Inc. the group also has leading corporations and not-for-proﬁtEnergizer Battery a personal care division that includes the institutions. Schick-Wilkinson Sword range of grooming products and other well-known brands such as Playtex and Wet Ones. The group Innovation practitioners has 23 manufacturing facilities across BT operates with an open innovation ethos ﬁve continents and it markets and sells its – a transformational mindset that re-casts products in 165 countries. traditional roles in the innovation value chain. This groundbreaking approach has From the outset the Energizer Battery been recognised by external bodies, not business has been built on innovation least by RTEC who produced a 2007 case – one of the company founders invented study showcasing BT’s approach as a global the ﬁrst dry cell battery for consumer use leader in innovation. in 1896 to power home telephones. Like most companies in today’s competitive In response to Energizer’s request RTEC environment, Energizer continues to look for recommended three companies, one ways to grow its business. To respond to the of which was BT. Mike Rivard, General challenge and enable diversiﬁcation from its Manager, New Business Development at existing portfolio the company knew that it Energizer Battery, says: “We were fascinated needed to revitalise its focus on innovation. by BT’s approach, particularly the operation of its new ideas scheme and the way it Dan Stuckey, Vice President, Strategic quickly validated and pursued business Business Units at Energizer Battery, opportunities with a hothouse approach. comments: “We recognised that the We wanted to learn more and through RTEC company was not fully leveraging the sought to establish a dialogue.” creative minds of employees and it was taking us far too long to get new products BT set up a team of experienced innovation to market. Furthermore, we needed to practitioners to consult with and advise generate great ideas for better business Energizer. John Nevins, who led the BT team, sustainability. We wanted to see how other recalls: “Energizer executives came to the UK companies approached innovation, so we to meet with us face-to-face. That helped contacted the Research and Technology us to understand the challenges they were Executive Council (RTEC) to advise us.” facing and recommend a way forward.
A BT Innovation case studyEnergizer Battery Our proposal featured a six-week long The boot camp commenced at the Energizer“The Prime Pump campaign hothouse commencing with a three-day ofﬁce in Westlake, Ohio in late Marchreally captured the imagination boot camp to impart learning. These were 2008. Mike Rivard recalls: “We had a handand passion of Energizer people succeeded by an ideation session, followed picked team of people providing broad by a programme to evaluate, develop, and representation across the company to makeand got us off to a great start. It communicate the new ideas.” things happen. No one fully understoodallowed us to reach out around what they were about to commit to, butthe globe and pose targeted The requirement was for seven Energizer they were united in one thing – they all had Energizer’s best interests at heart.”questions of our colleagues. We people to be dedicated to the task, pluscollected 166 new ideas from over the senior sponsor, Mike Rivard, on a part time basis. The programme was designed to The boot camp enabled the Energizer100 people in a matter of days.” enable skills transfer by sharing BT’s approach team to learn more about the BT approachMike Rivard to innovation, drawing upon the skills and and provided an understanding of itsGeneral Manager, New Business DevelopmentEnergizer Battery experience of seasoned practitioners. potential to deliver value quickly. It also gave an induction to a range of tools and techniques that BT uses to evaluate new A key feature of the BT proposal was the ideas and business plans; and provided an very tangible outcome. Using a classic funnel understanding of BT’s innovation ecosystem. methodology, the hothouse would choose new ideas from across the company and develop formal proposals for consideration Mike Rivard observes: “The boot camp really by a senior steering group. Against strict focused our minds and our approach. It was business criteria these would be honed down tough at ﬁrst but we gradually began to pull into the ones that would deliver real and together as a team. It was a real eye-opener immediate business beneﬁt for Energizer and began to make us think and behave and/or provide a platform for the future. differently to how we had in the past.” Generating ideas The boot camp led straight into an ideation day when the team began to evaluate and To generate the raw material for the ideation develop the new ideas from the campaign, session and subsequent hothouse phases as well as others put forward by the team. BT recommended an Energizer Prime The output was a series of one-page Pump campaign, part of the BT New Ideas business cases that described each idea, the scheme. This would encourage Energizer ﬁt with Energizer strategy, the commercial staff to put forward ideas for new product or rationale, and the business beneﬁts. These market development and create the means were then clustered into 14 groups and for the company to tap into the wealth of prioritised, based on market attractiveness knowledge and innovation inherent within and ability to execute. This ultimately its workforce. provided a shortlist of nine propositions for the team to develop during the next phase The Prime Pump campaign was conducted of the programme. just prior to the boot camp and was managed and hosted by BT using a tailored The Energizer hothouse team developed version of its New Ideas application. Mike the selected ideas through more advanced Rivard says: “The Prime Pump campaign research and dialogue and created more really captured the imagination and passion detailed outputs. These were ﬁrst critiqued of Energizer people and got us off to a great by the BT consultants and then socialised start. It allowed us to reach out around the within Energizer before being presented globe and pose targeted questions of our to the steering group. Mike Rivard notes: colleagues. We collected 166 new ideas from “The steering group was impressed with the over 100 people in a matter of days.” achievements of the team in such a short time. We selected three of the ideas to work up into formal business proposals over the ﬁnal three weeks of the hothouse.”