Faber & Faber Case Study in PersonnelZone

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Wazoku’s work with Faber & Faber has recently been published in the PersonnelZone newsletter. You can click here to subscribe to the newsletter and read the case study, or skim the best bits below:

Faber & Faber – improving organisational performance by tapping into innovation

Faber and Faber began as a firm in 1929 and remains one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London. With the great depth of its backlist, featuring books by no fewer than twelve Nobel Laureates and six Booker Prize-winners, a thriving frontlist and ever-growing e-book list, and new ventures including the print-on-demand Faber Finds imprint, Faber Digital (publisher of the award-winning The Waste Land for iPad App), Faber Academy (the creative writing school), as well as Faber Factory Powered by Constellation, and Faber Factory Plus, the company continues to go from strength to strength[…]

Jason Cooper, Digital and Enterprise Development Director, Faber and Faber said:

“The traditional business model in publishing has been ripped up as people consume the written word in such a variety of different ways now. Whilst Faber has been a pioneer in digital publishing we need to keep innovating to retain and grow our market position. Tapping into our staff – the people that make Faber the business it is – is something we have always done but we needed the right platform to make the process more effective and efficient.”

The right technology
Following a comprehensive review of the options available to capture ideas, including the development of a company intranet, using email and the full range of idea management software options on the market, Faber turned to Wazoku and its Idea Spotlight technology.

Wazoku is an idea management software firm that targets SMEs specifically. It uncovers and captures the very best ideas and innovation within an organisation, develops and nurtures them and uses social tools to ensure that those ideas are given a voice and are seen by the people who can make them happen.

Essentially, Wazoku brings the company ‘suggestion box’ into the 21st century, using software in which employees can submit, capture, discuss and evaluate ideas, so can engage and unearth talent within a business. It is very big in the US and emerging in the UK amongst firms such as Faber that are recognising the importance of innovation.

Innovation is important to business for many reasons – differentiating from the competition, devising new ways of working, different approaches, new products and services – and is widely recognised as having a significant impact on productivity and overall business performance and success.

Jason Cooper, Faber and Faber continued:

“Wazoku is straight forward to use so we engaged with it immediately. It is human, user friendly, clearly designed with SME requirements in mind and has already proved its value to Faber.”

Results and ROI
Adoption of Wazoku has been high, with all employees invited to participate in idea generation. Within two months of Idea Spotlight being used in Faber, they have had many ideas submitted and one idea has already led to a team being formed from across the business to overhaul Faber’s internal communications.

Faber realises the potential of tapping into staff ideas and see Idea Spotlight as the platform to make the process of doing so more efficient and effective. The company has further incentivised staff to submit ideas by offering a small £25 prize for any idea that is approved.

Jason Cooper, Faber and Faber concluded:

“We’ve had lots of ideas submitted and as they start to be implemented that will be empowering and encourage more. Involving staff in the future direction of the organisation, letting them know their opinions are trusted and valued, making them feel they are all seen as equal and giving them a platform to be involved in the company is a powerful motivational tool and has massive potential for impacting on our business.”

Wazoku comes with flexible pricing models and starts from £1 per user per month, meaning that it would really only take one idea generated for the technology to pay for itself.

This helps provide some of the innovation that will help Faber’s overall performance but with people being recognised for their contributions, everyone seeing who and where the ideas come from, the beginnings of a more open and collaborative culture are there.