September 14, 2021, proved to be a special day for the RPG Group as its Innovation and Digital wing launched RPG Click – the organisation’s first integrated platform for innovation. For the very first time, not only will RPGians get exposed to the organisation’s diverse portfolio of businesses, but also get an opportunity to collaborate with other companies and participate in solving their various challenges.
Aimed at further institutionalising an innovative mindset, in line with RPG’s DNA, this platform helps solve critical business challenges across all companies by leveraging the collective wisdom of RPGians across companies, geographies, and functions.
Besides sharing their own creative solutions, Click’s unique features encourages employees to add value to ideas initiated by their colleagues, thereby tapping into the Group’s large and diversified portfolio of talent.
The platform boasts of an inbuilt gamification that rewards users by accumulating points for all kinds of engagement ranging from submitting an idea to liking, commenting, or sharing opinions with colleagues.
Innovation doesn’t have to make the front-page news to have great impact. Some products, services and ideas have the potential to quietly revolutionise certain aspects of our lives, as well.
If bagging the ET Most Innovative Company Award, 2020 in the recent past is any indication, RPG has seen the introduction of new ideas and harnessed its power to challenge the status quo and invent and/or redefine processes, by innovating constantly.
Samip Mutha, Head – Digital and Innovation, RPG Enterprises, believes that for innovation to truly unfold, the environment has a crucial role to play.
“For Innovation to be successfully integrated in our culture, it is important to move the needle on two axes – one from incremental to radial ideas, and the other to innovation at scale. Improvement on these axes, fundamentally, needs a platform with the mechanism that offers continuous innovation, which is where Click comes in. We will now be able to cross the traditional boundaries of our function, location and companies to reach out to RPGians at large to solve challenges that are critical to bring business to speed.”
Samip Mutha, Head – Digital and Innovation, RPG Enterprises
When one analyses the secret behind sustained collaborations in a wide range of industries, the findings can be traced to some common mental attitudes – widespread respect for colleagues’ contributions, openness to experimenting with ideas stemming from the most unexpected sources, and sensitivity to how one’s actions may affect the Group's vision outcome.
Yet, these are difficult to operationalise in a corporate landscape, especially sans any mechanism to make it an imperative component. Click’s larger vision is to help RPGians overcome the psychological barriers that get in the way of conflating productive conversations that in the grand scheme of things, add to the innovation agenda of the Group.
In the early stages, there were a few apprehensions, including understanding the challenge statements or unwillingness of project teams to divulge information that are still in nascent stages. However, the value-proposition offered by Click was simply too inviting to resist. Today, in a post pandemic world, the propensity to upskill using new-age learning methods, as well as finding new means to collaborate and co-learn using platforms such as Click is on the rise.
Aside from being an innovative platform to brainstorm, collaborate and ideate, along with a monetary reward, Click’s highly intuitive platform also increases employee motivation by recognising contribution to new ideas and comments based on social engagement algorithms.
A landmark study conducted at Harvard Business School sheds light on the impression different types of succession had in 200 organisations, over a 15-year period. They found that, on average, insiders didn’t have the same impact as outsiders did when it came to their company’s performance. At Pixar, an exercise called “leading from the inside out” helps the company think through the problem differently, in a more diverse ecosystem.
Another fitting example can be derived from Apple’s value-focused approach. Early in its history, the company created products such as iTunes, but barely monetised from these. Eventually, a rehaul in its talent pool did allow them to understand a broader view of customer needs, driving them to propose solutions beyond core product offerings. The evolved product-and-service bundles today, make it a compelling part of iOS, having translated it into a core need, and maybe even a driving factor in converting consumers to Apple.
While established MNCs have emphasised on the importance of cross-functional collaboration, RPG leaders are also articulating clear and well-founded reasons for participating in Click.
“Employees today are not satisfied contributing to their immediate domain alone. They like to explore challenges outside their ‘bubble of comfort’. This is what Click offers. It allows RPGians to draw learnings and energy by solving important problems of the Group. Furthermore, they can learn by going through ideas contributed by others.”
Rajat Bhargava, CEO - Speciality Sector & Head - Group Transformation at RPG Group
This has parallels even in the world of academia, where it is imperative to build a strong foundation based on a broader and more diverse learning scope, in addition to the person’s core specialisation area. As Samip puts it, “Research shows that when companies implement collaborative work approaches – creating opportunities for cross-functional teamwork and assembling cohorts with members based in different functions – productivity is substantially higher. In my eight years at RPG, I can only vouch for how much the Group focuses on providing opportunities to everyone, irrespective of where they’re from, what their backgrounds are. If one has the will to deliver, everything else becomes inconsequential.”
Click creates value for employees by making work more appealing – RPG’s value-focused business approach thinks holistically about the needs of its employees, and is constantly striving to make the workplace better, more flexible, and motivating.
Click creates value for stakeholders by reducing operating costs and overheads – The programme is designed to evaluate every crowdsourced strategy, solution or idea by eliminating the need to source business solutions from external sources, simply by dipping into RPG’s talent pool.
Click enables a culture of experimentation and crowdsourcing by encouraging employees to work on ideas that link current and emerging market needs and come up with solutions to foster a healthy environment.
Click creates value for customers by finding ways to innovate or improve upon existing products, even when there is no problem at hand – At the outset, by attracting talent that boosts corporate performance, quality of product and services improve greatly with an increase in the range of selections and offerings.
The idea pool will churn out solutions that are innovative enough not just to help RPG’s companies in bringing diverse perspectives, but also in the shortest possible time. With more such links that RPGians can make, the more likely they will be able to collectively transform the various companies in the Group. These programmes will also encourage employees to set and reach personal and professional growth goals. It is this holistic aspect of RPG’s innovation ecosystem that will enable Click’s success.