Digitising & Accelerating innovation
How Husqvarna used the pandemic to digitise, accelerate and spread innovation in their organisation
Who is Husqvarna?
Husqvarna is a Swedish manufacturer of outdoor power products including robotic lawn-mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, brushcutters, cultivators, and garden tractors. Founded in 1689 as a firearms manufacturer, the company has reinvented itself multiple times throughout its existence by continuously finding new innovative ways. Husqvarna is, thus, still one of the oldest continuously running companies in the world.
Husqvarna has highly motivated employees with a passion for their products and an ambition to continuously improve and launch new solutions and features. Therefore, the company saw a great potential in tapping into the knowledge and creativity of its employees to generate future innovations.
Husqvarna launched an annual Hackathon event, called “Shotgun” at their headquarters in Sweden. Over the course of a day teams of engineers build mock-ups and prototypes of potential new ideas over pizza and beers. However, due to the pandemic and everybody being at home, Shotgun was in danger of being cancelled. In order to still make the event happen, Husqvarna reached out to Nosco with the task to find a way to digitise the hackathon.
With the support of the Nosco platform, Husqvarna was not only able to carry out Shotgun but also involve more participants, free more time for ideation and extend the event to include video pitching sessions and fast iteration cycles. Moreover, the platform allowed a broader group of corporate stakeholders from markets across the globe to evaluate and champion ideas.Thus, engaging the strongest commercial minds in the company. Experts, who otherwise would not have been part of the process, now can raise their hands and say, “I want that idea to be realised so I can sell it over here”.
In honour of the original Shotgun, the entire process, from launch to finish, happened within a week. Rounded off with a finale where the top teams pitched live via video conference to a jury and an audience of everyone interested. The team behind the winning idea received 8 dedicated Fridays to further mature and test their idea. The objective was to validate their hypotheses and present a solid execution roadmap for the next 3-6 months to company executives.
Shotgun has now been run digitally five times with Nosco over the past two years. The number of ideas submitted range from 45 to 135. With minimal internal promotion efforts, an impressive turnout.
Recently, three projects have gone through an 8-week incubation process. Two of them have been approved to run a pilot project, validating market desire, technical feasibility, and viability. This new reinvented process could lay the foundations for a new way of strengthening the innovation pipeline, do fast product and service development and at the same time increase engagement.