I work as an Innovation Enablement Manager at IKEA business solutions, which is part of the retail organization managing 90% of all the IKEA stores in the world.
As the world around us is moving faster, we felt that we are not competitive enough in many areas. I have seen a tendency in large organizations to feel like they have to get it perfect. So then you put a lot of planning into project execution, potentially wasting valuable time and resources before you know if it will be successful. Many people are solution oriented or problem orientated. You need to start with “why” are you doing it.
We needed guidance to help us challenge our thinking. Many people in the organization came to us, wanting to move faster and be more innovative, but didn’t know how to get there.
We reached out to the Lean Startup Company in May of 2016, to introduce Lean Startup concepts at our yearly meeting with all of the managers in IKEA Business Solutions. That sparked something in the organization. So we picked out 20 people to do a follow-on workshop in October, 2016. We see this as a pilot to see how Lean Startup methodology would work within IKEA. We see it as a Lean Startup experiment to help us get traction in a different way of thinking.
The perception among the workshop participants is they can immediately start going faster, by getting to the “why” much early in the innovation process. Rather than wasting time by immediately focusing on the execution of a project, including forms, requirements, and internal investments, they are excited about starting with the “why”. There is already great traction and a willingness to work differently.