HOW CBUS GREW THEIR EMERGING LEADER TALENT WITH DESIGN THINKING

CBUS Intrapreneurship Program

Tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrepreneurs.”
— Forbes
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Cbus: The Who & Why.

Cbus is the leading Industry Super Fund for the building and construction and allied Industries.  As one of Australia’s largest super funds Cbus provide super and income stream accounts to more than 750,000 members and manage over $38 billion of members’ money. Cbus actively supports and contributes to a sustainable and growing industry, and has committed to inclusion, transparency and accountability across all aspects of the way they work.

It was established that given the changing landscape of the superannuation industry and the growth of the Fund that an innovative, exciting and fast paced emerging leaders Program was required to harness the expertise and talent already existing within the Fund.

 

“The Cbus Intrapreneurship has allowed us to significantly grow our emerging leader talent whilst introducing human-centred design to the Fund. This will ensure we can continue to grow our focus on innovation and best practice in everything we do, to continue to deliver the best to our members and employers”

Belinda Ryan, Organisational Development Lead, Cbus

 
 

Naked Ambition: The Why & How.

Following a successful tender, Naked Ambition were selected to assist Cbus in the design and delivery of their Emerging Leaders program. The ‘Intrapreneurship’ program was co-created and designed over an 8 month period, launched in early 2017, and ran for 14 weeks.  

The first phase of Intrapreneurship was introduced through a personal branding module, which was key to encouraging creative confidence and open communication amongst participants. By focusing on individual strengths and networks, and carrying out relevant challenges along the way, industry thought-leader qualities began to emerge. This module was delivered in collaboration with Michelle McQuaid, a Positive Psychology and personal branding specialist.

 

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In the second phase of the program, design thinking concepts were introduced. Participants were required to consider design thinking as a creative problem solving tool, and to work with their colleagues and executive sponsors to solve genuine Cbus business challenges using their newfound skills. Naked Ambition delivered all workshops and coaching session along with their extended team and partners in Design and UX.

As a result of the Intrapreneurship program, real solutions were prototyped and tested against four of Cbus’s key business challenges, and confirmed how learning to innovate with human-centered problem solving tools can foster stronger connections both internally and externally, and contribute to the overall success and future development of the organisation.

Intrapreneurship: Our Unique Approach.

Throughout the creation and design process, Naked Ambition worked closely with Cbus to ensure there was a clear purpose and outcome for the program, which would align with the overarching organisational business strategy.

To generate interest, it was determined that entry into the program should be both competitive and selective. First, potential participants were asked to submit a creative response reasoning why they should be included in the program. They were then asked to self-nominate using creative media, with resulting submissions including use of video, recipes, and even a built-for-purpose application! After receiving such an overwhelming response, the proposed initial intake of 16 participants was increased to 20.

 

An opportunity to work collaboratively

The Intrapreneurship program provided a unique opportunity for intrapreneurs to work collaboratively on business challenges that were not necessarily a part of their business as usual function, Increasing cross departmental collaboration.

The delivery of the program was highly experiential and participants were exposed to a number of industry expert speakers from across Design, UX, Strategy and Positive Psychology and wellbeing.

The program was launched successfully, with a selection of high profile guest speakers – including Dr. Angus Hervey from FutureCrunch – who encouraged participants to embrace not fear the future, and understand how technology can be used to advance society. Cbus Executive Sponsors were also very involved in the program launch.

 

“Today, if you are not meeting your stakeholders’ needs, you simply won’t remain in the game. Digital advancement and consumer desire to engage with organisations when they want to and via the channels that they chose, means we have to be adaptable, agile and innovative. The Intrepreneurship program provided a great learning ground for our emerging leaders to collaboratively tackle problems and come up with creative solutions. We’re encouraging them to continue to put these learnings to use as we embed similar practices into our everyday activities.”

David Atkin, CEO, Cbus  

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Intrapreneurship: Why it Worked.

Cbus’s challenges were sponsored by the Executive team and spanned a range of business areas. Two of the challenges were focused externally on Members and Employers, and two were focused on internal challenges affecting all staff.

The first three modules of the program focused on each intrapreneur’s ability to develop and foster strong professional connections (both internally and outside of the fund), build an industry reputation for thought leadership, and become a voice for the future development of the fund. These modules were design and delivered in a collaboration between workplace wellbeing expert Michelle McQuaid and Naked Ambition.

The second phase of the program saw intrapreneur’s working in teams to learn about ‘design thinking’ as a creative problem-solving tool. This approach enabled the design thinking practice to be applied to whichever organisational challenge each team would eventually decide to take on. Working on their challenges teams moved through the full design thinking framework from research, to analysis, ideation and prototyping and finally higher fidelity prototyping and testing.

Executive sponsorship was a key component

Executive sponsorship was a key component of the Intrapreneurship program, as each team was required to select both their challenge and their sponsor. Following selection, each team worked closely with their sponsor to seek guidance on what methods had already been attempted to address the challenge, andthe barriers that were encountered.

Throughout the entirety of the learning program each intrapreneur engaged in weekly coaching sessions with Naked Ambition. This included a personal branding module, where coaching was provided to support participants in developing their own personal brand in line with the organisation’s strategic vision.

World Cafe - socialising ideas early

World Cafe - socialising ideas early

During the second phase of the program, coaching took place in the form of a workshop check-in, which allowed participants to discuss their progress and how they planned to implement design thinking methods – such as interviewing and research – to meet their business challenges.

The coaching component was specifically designed to provide guidance and feedback on achieving goals and the effective use of methods and tools. It was an opportunity for each team to reflect on what was working well and what was not, and to iterate on their approaches.

After the teams had collaborated on a number of potential solutions, the next step was to socialise the ideas and generate feedback from across Cbus. To achieve this, Naked Ambition designed a World Café event to facilitate the sharing of ideas. Over the course of a couple of hours, each team was given the opportunity to pitch their idea and obtain feedback from the organisation as a whole.

 

 

Playing Back To The Organisation.

Upon the conclusion of the formal training, teams were given two weeks to continue testing their prototypes with customers and socialising their concept with key stakeholders inside and outside the organisation.

The final stage of the program culminated in two presentations delivered by all team members. One to the Cbus Executive and one to the whole organisation at their bi-annual Compass conference.

Teams were also given coaching by Naked Ambition on to how to prepare and present a powerful presentation and they all used the power of storytelling to reveal the real user needs and how they adopted human-centred design into their solutions. They also went all out to capture the attention of their colleagues.

We had flyers, confetti, matching outfits, music and even a guest appearance by a dog as they presented their customer focused solutions like pros. The innovation team are pictured here sporting their 'ideas can be beautiful' t-shirts.

The Cbus Innovation Team at Compass, the bi-annual all company conference

The Cbus Innovation Team at Compass, the bi-annual all company conference

 
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“Working with Naked Ambition on the The Cbus Intrapreneurship has been rewarding for both the organisation and me personally. Naked Ambition are absolute professionals and they know human centred design better than anyone. Naked Ambition were prepared to continuously go “above and beyond” to make the program the success that it was. Working with Nigel and Fiona was personally rewarding as I learnt so much and enjoyed the way they were able to continuously challenge me to make the program the best it could be.”

Belinda Ryan, Organisational Development Lead, Cbus

 

Cbus & Intrapreneurship: A Success Story.

The Cbus Intrapreneurship program was established in response to the changing landscape of the superannuation industry and the growth of The Fund. By encouraging thought-leadership and collaboration between Executive teams and other business functions, real challenges were addressed and genuine solutions were proposed.

The program set the tone for future innovation, by increasing capability regarding human centred design and opening the lines of communication between teams and senior leaders. Each team was given the opportunity to discuss their process and findings and present solutions, and Executives were able to assess the desirability, feasibility and viability of early stage prototypes, then vote for the solutions they wanted Cbus to further invest in.

Based on the positive feedback from sponsors within People and Culture, Executive teams and participants we now understand that the program has been instrumental in promoting a collaborative culture in which individuals at all levels are encouraged to think innovatively, and to express ideas using a clear and structured approach.