Creativity and Innovation - DHL

Creativity and Innovation - DHL


Creativity and Innovation

As the global market leader in the international express and logistics industry, DHL are always looking to provide their customers with "innovative and customised solutions from a single source".

And that innovative single source is, of course, the 300,000 DHL employees all dedicated to getting your mail, freight and Corporate Information Solutions to you quickly, efficiently and effectively.

DHL understand just how important it is to invest in innovation and the creativity of their people. In an ever-shifting market, their aim is to develop a business culture that allows and encourages new ideas from every member of staff within every area of the company.

As part of DHL's creativity strategy, they contacted Impact Factory in 2008 as the start of an on-going relationship.

Over the course of several months, we worked with a variety of DHL staff on a series of highly successful creativity workshop programmes.

Then, earlier this year, we headed to DHL's Leicester base to work intensively with ten DHL employees - hand-picked to head up a new innovation and creativity initiative.

With the markets across the board tightening under global recession, DHL, like many other companies, understand that it's the creativity and innovation of their people that can not only keep the business going but even make it flourish during a recession. And Impact Factory's creativity team are expert in the field of understanding and drawing out peoples individual creative behaviour.

Armed with all sorts of objects to spark the imagination we arrived in Leicester, set up the room, even checked the pens worked on a couple of post-it notes (we return to this later.....) and met the delightful DHL team.

They then took the team through the unique and highly practical Five Windows creativity process. The team soon found themselves surprised and engaged in their own and each others' creative behaviours.

Suddenly it was obvious to each and every delegate: contrary to many popular myths and beliefs, everyone is creative. And with 300,000 staff members at DHL, that's an awful lot of new and creative ideas for the company to tap into.

The team were soon brainstorming new ways to transport mail and parcels around the UK in the future, as well as reorganising the infrastructure of the UK itself.

Who knows, Christmas Hampers of the future may well be delivered by multi-terrain vehicles to your back garden or via a countrywide vacuum pipe network right into your living the DHL space.

So what did it all mean to this new DHL innovation team and therefore to the company as a whole? Where were they headed? What did creativity at DHL mean to its employees?

Was there one word that they shared under which umbrella they could all move forward creatively and together? We handed pens and post-it notes to the team members - "Just write down as many words as you like".

What words spring to mind when you think DHL, creativity and the future?"

The team scribbled away sticking their post-it note words on the wall as they went. When the wall was covered they began, as a team, to filter through the choices - to pick their top two or three words. The one that stood out for them all was 'NEWNESS'.

NEWNESS seemed to resonate for the whole team. That's what was needed, looking forward: doing things in a new way, creating a sense of 'newness'. Tom glanced at the word 'Newness' written on the flip charts and turned to the team with a look of surprise and wonder on his face. But why? What was going on? And that's when Tom walked over to the bin and retrieved the screwed up post-it note he'd used earlier that morning to test a pen - before the team had even arrived.

He opened out the scrunched up piece of bright pink paper and showed it to the group. On it was just one word, scribbled diagonally across the centre of the note....."NEWNESS". Now, if that isn't group creativity...with a touch of magic...we're not sure what is!

If you would like to talk to us about a

Creativity and Innovation Programme

or any of the soft skills development work we do, call us on

+44 (0)20 7226 1877

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Creativity and Innovation Training