Last month The Prince’s Trust celebrated their first internal Innovation Awards.
Colleagues submitted just under 100 nominations recognising one another for the amazing ideas they had collaborated on and developed since July 2018.
Bringing innovation to the forefront
The Princes Trust, a UK charity whose aim is to help disadvantaged young people get their lives on track, has undergone a business wide transformation led by CEO, Nick Stace. He seeks to transform the organisation in order to deliver services to a greater number of young people and understood that in order to do this, a different set of tools would be needed.
A key pillar and differentiator to their existing strategy has been the introduction and investment in an Innovation team, whose mission is to drive and cultivate a culture of innovation. Running with a mandate to realise employees’ entrepreneurial spirit, The Princes Trust understood that it was critical to help employees understand that innovation is everyone’s responsibility and that everyone can have a significant impact on delivering on their new strategy, if given a voice and a channel.
A few regular activities have included running Design Thinking workshops across their UK offices, fostering a network of Innovation Champions within each office to drive collective innovation efforts and the creation of TED Talk-style videos and intranet communications. The Prince’s Trust has been able to keep innovation front of mind and part of everyone’s day-to-day. These efforts have been underpinned by their use of Idea Spotlight, our idea management platform to solve their biggest challenges to date, by gathering and developing ideas from board members to those on the frontline helping young people – in essence, giving everyone a voice and a platform to collaborate.
The Prince’s Trust Innovation Awards is a culmination and celebration of the effort and hard work of every colleague within the charity, who has collaborated to transform its culture into an intrapreneurial environment that is inherently innovative. The nominations for the awards were captured on Ideas Loop, their branded instance of Idea Spotlight, against the following categories:
• Most innovative idea
• Most entrepreneurial colleague
• Most supportive innovation
• Innovation champion of the year
Vicky’s vision was to build on Prince’s Trust’s existing product of running Get Hired events –which seek to redefine traditional recruitment methods and match young people into jobs based on who they are as people and not what they are on paper, matching their strengths and values to those of employers.
The idea took Get Hired a step further by creating a global online community that hires talent based on shared values not vitae. Starting out as a one-off job matching event for young people, the event has now evolved into a community for forward thinking SME businesses who all share a common purpose to ‘hire the right people whilst doing the right thing’. The site encompasses two main products – an events-based platform so SME’s and large corporates can pay to attend the events, as well as a CV-less jobs board.
This one idea is one of hundreds that The Prince’s Trust have been able to develop and implement, helping to deliver for their customers and achieve their strategic goals. The Awards celebration was a first of many to come – a way for The Prince’s Trust to take a pause from the great daily work that they do and celebrate everyone’s contribution, whether they submitted an idea, helped deliver an idea or even were one of their Innovation Champions who promoted, educated and fostered innovation within their department or office.
Taking the time to recognise individuals who are contributing has consistently been seen to further encourage engagement and inspire more colleagues to participate.