Schneider Electric, like many industrial companies, excels at operating their current business model, industrializing, and distributing goods across the world.
However, when it comes to building new products while listening to customer feedback and iterating quickly at a small scale, these organizations lack the necessary tools, processes, and mindset to operate effectively.
Schneider Electric has tasked Forward Partners with training their employees to gather customer feedback and make product or market decisions based on that feedback.
To effectively train employees in these methods, three elements must be considered:
Employees need to apply what they have learned directly to their product and work. Working on case studies remains theoretical and does not change behavior.
To understand how to gather customer input, participants need to interact with real customers. This means not working on hypothetical cases, but actually talking to Schneider Electric customers to better understand their needs and concerns.
Participants should work and learn together. This means that they need to work in teams on the same projects, exchanging ideas, learning, and growing together.
A Bootcamp to learn the innovation methods
We provided for Schneider Electric, hands-on, practical training that was the transformation for most of the participant.
The Bootcamp is very hands-on program during which participants work in teams on Schneider, Electric's problems and products.
On the first day participants learn the power or the importance of iterations and the value of customer inputs. On the second day, the participant learn how to integrate this feedback into their product and decision. They then propose an offer that resonate with customers and test it with real customers.
How to unbundled the product an idea based on the customer needs
How to learn from customers with the different type of interview techniques
How to decide to either pivot, persevere or stop a project
How to defined value proposition
How to test with customers a valuable position
How to identify the riskiest assumptions behind a new initiative
The tools they use during this Bootcamp are:
Lean Innovation Canvas
Discovery Interview techniques
Value Proposition Template
Solution Interview techniques
Experiment Design Template
Each activity throughout the bootcamp is supervised by a coach who guides and assists the team. The coach provides regular feedback to the team and helps participants improve their skills, for instance, in interviewing customers or prototyping a value proposition or MVP.
To make this Bootcamp, even more immersive, entrepreneurs came in the evening to tell them the story of their journey. The participants could relate the entrepreneur stories to do activities that they were doing during the Bootcamp.
The Innovation Bootcamp transformed participants
One way to understand the impact that Schneider Electric has had on its employees is to listen to what they have to say about their experiences.
Best training in 11 years at Schneider Electric
Should be done by all Offer Managers inside Schneider Electric
I love the hands on approach. Not too much about theory, but about practise. The fact that it starts with the customer becomes 100% concrete.
I learn that it is easy to meet customers. Felt empowered. It is great to block time to meet customers and we should do it much more often.
The participants learned the importance of quickly validating ideas with customers and iterating based on their feedback. This is a key principle of the innovation methodology, one of the frameworks taught in the Bootcamp.
They found the training valuable because it introduced them to different innovation concepts and frameworks, and allowed them to apply these concepts to real projects.
The training helped them to think more like entrepreneurs and to be more open to new ideas and ways of working.
Schneider Electric management recognizes the transformative value of the Bootcamp, and has thus far trained over 500 employees around the world.