Enter the Winnobooster
Sustainability assured 2016
A new programme that highlights and rewards radical innovations from within Wärtsilä.
With the advent of smart technologies, digitalisation, and the disruption rife across almost every industry and market, thought leadership has become a critical topic for Wärtsilä. Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking are already deeply embedded in the company’s way of working, but in 2016 these qualities have been taken a step forward with a fresh approach to fostering powerful new business developments within the company.
"Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking are already deeply embedded in our way of working, but Winnobooster takes these qualities a step forward."
One result of this is Winnobooster, an ongoing initiative launched in 2016. First, internal communication channels are used to solicit radical innovations for Wärtsilä to pursue. The best of these are then selected for presentation to the Innovation Board, headed by Roger Holm, President of Marine Solutions, and composed of experts from each of our business areas and corporate functions, along with one outsider for additional perspective.
In these monthly board meetings, applicants not only present their own proposed innovations, but also benefit from attending and listening to the other presentations. “In this way,” says Mikael Simelius, Vice President, Marketing, Marine Solutions, “skills are sharpened and every participant, including the board members, have the opportunity to develop their knowledge.”
"The programme highlights the willingness within Wärtsilä to embrace new ways of working and potentially fruitful business models yet to be explored."
In 2016, four such meetings were held, at which 27 innovative suggestions were presented. Seven of these were granted funding to be pursued further by their entrants, which Simelius considers an excellent result. “The crucial difference between Winnobooster and other innovation processes we have run in the past,“ he continues, “is that successful applicants are rewarded with the real possibility to develop their innovation.”
Winning innovations must provide concrete answers to questions such as: “Does this have the power to change industry economics? Does it have the power to disrupt parts of our business? Will it transform any part of our value chain? Does it have the power to change our competitive advantage?” Equally, those presenting their innovations will have to demonstrate their relevance to Wärtsilä’s existing business, but other ideas are also welcome.
Winnobooster is just one encapsulation of the transformative processes at work across Wärtsilä. The programme highlights the willingness within the company to embrace new ways of working and potentially fruitful business models yet to be explored. Work on thought leadership also continues in other areas, as the company seeks to preserve its record for innovative thinking – always with a view to conferring upon customers the ability to shape their own markets and improve their business.