In 2014, we launched a global internal innovation program. Start-in invites employees to co-create solutions for our customers by submitting their ideas to an online crowd-sourcing platform.
Over eight hundred ideas were suggested this year, and after 5 months of coaching, selection, and one 4-day hackathon, the winning teams created 4 amazing prototypes.
We talked to one of this year’s successful teams about their experience.
Meet Ewa Sulima, Guillaume Lehallier and Laura Rosado.
So, first what was your Start-in project all about?
Our idea centered round using drones at AXA. We’re convinced that drones will play an important role in our society in the future. They’re portable devices which can fly over areas that might even be inaccessible to humans and can quickly gather images and data. They have countless business applications, so the idea of using them to improve the customer experience provided by AXA just came naturally.
How did Start-in help you to evolve your idea?
The Start-in program gave us the opportunity to express this initial idea and then spread it across the AXA Group. We began by meeting with several experts to explore how drones might be able to provide a potential solution for the difficulties they were facing. We started to identify what would be the most beneficial use of the AXA Drones and then we began testing our ideas.
What support did you receive from Start-in?
We had both coaching sessions and lots of support from the Start-in team. We were able to focus on the main aspects and benefits of drones for AXA. A potential trap with this kind of multi-functional technology is being over-ambitious at the start and trying to cover too many different uses. The coach and the team were quite clear on this point. They advised us to focus our efforts on the features that would have the most benefit. And it worked!
What was the best part of the Start-in program?
It’s given us the opportunity to work on a project that we’re really passionate about. We all love our work here, including being able to contribute to AXA’s success with our day-to-day activities. Start-in gave us an additional opportunity to challenge ourselves. Being able to work on our own project, based on what we believe in.
Innovation has to come from individuals; from their capacity to define their own goals and from allowing them a certain freedom to decide how to achieve them. Start-in gave us this freedom.
Would you recommend participating in Start-in to others at AXA?
Yes, definitely! It’s challenging and time-consuming, but you learn loads and most of all it’s really fun!