French national forestry office (ONF) customer testimonial: Their innovation challenge revitalized thanks to IDhall
The French national forestry office (ONF) is responsible for managing France’s public forests. As the leading manager of natural areas and the leading supplier of timber, the ONF adopts a sustainable, multifunctional approach aimed at reconciling society’s expectations.
These expectations include timber production, preserving the biodiversity of natural environments and ecosystems, and welcoming the public. In addition to these three main functions, the ONF is also involved in general protection against natural hazards. The multi-functionality to which the organization is committed means that these multiple expectations must be considered for each forest, both on a global scale and at more restricted levels.
Clearly, the ONF’s purpose is to act at the heart of the territories, for forests that are better adapted to climate change, while responding sustainably to society’s expectations.
Through the testimony of Stéphane Godard, Innovation Manager at the French national forestry office, discover how organizing his second innovation challenge on the IDhall platform enabled him to get closer to the company’s purpose.
The French national forestry office (ONF) challenge
In 2018, the French national forestry office embarked on a cross-functional mission to create an enabling environment to foster innovation within the organization. To achieve this goal, one of its missions is to ensure that the environment is stimulating, supportive and facilitating at all levels of the organization, from the management team to the field. To make this vision a reality, the French national forestry office has set up two operational systems.
The first one, called “Graines d’Innovation” – which means “Innovation Seeds” – aims to identify, develop, and support the innovative potential of the Group’s 8,500 employees, through the organization of innovation challenges. The second system, the Innovation Lab, is a range of support services designed to assist structures, teams, and managers in their transformation, with an emphasis on strategic issues.
The French national forestry office creates an environment conducive to the blossoming of innovative potential, both in terms of idea generation and product development. In addition, it offers support to individuals in problem-solving and methodologies through its Innovation Lab.
An innovation challenge to reveal employees’ creative potential
The French national forestry office launched the first edition of its innovation challenge, “Graines d’Innovation” in June 2019. Mobilizing its employees, the aim was to value their ideas and promote innovation, in line with the organization’s fundamental mission: acting together.
This first challenge generated a great deal of enthusiasm and demonstrated the ability of the French national forestry office employees to mobilize. It revealed a pool of around a hundred well-documented innovative proposals, which had not been fully exploited until then. It then led to a selection process and the organization of an event where 10 winners from among the candidates were rewarded.
Despite its success, this challenge also revealed several limitations.
As the ideas competition was organized on the company’s internal social network, this solution soon proved ill-suited to managing many proposals.
The proposals submitted were often put forward individually, which hampered the possibility of creating synergy and collective cooperation around innovative ideas, which could have benefited from a more collaborative approach.
Finally, the involvement of managers and field staff, particularly forestry technicians and workers, was rather low.
These findings prompted the French national forestry office to draw lessons from the experience and consider a new system to improve for future challenges and encourage continuous learning in terms of innovation.
The need to develop the innovation challenge through an appropriate tool
To develop the collaborative innovation approach, it was necessary to make changes to the process.
Whereas the first challenge was open to very broad themes, for the second one, ONF wanted to focus more specifically on three themes: the forest (climate change and renewed dialogue with society), digital transformation and carbon.
To overcome the limitation of individual responses, candidate ideas for selection now had to be presented by teams of at least two people. This new requirement also introduced a new role: that of managers as team sponsors. The aim was to actively involve management, to support and accompany the candidate teams in bringing their projects to fruition.
The idea selection process has also evolved, with the introduction of expert advice into the project selection process.
The new process required the choice of a new, modern, and innovative tool, which would enable the organization to overcome the limitations encountered in the first edition and revitalize the approach.
Implementing the IDhall solution
In tests carried out on various platforms, IDhall quickly stood out thanks to several key features. These tests highlighted the advantages of the solution, highlighting its ergonomics, the ease with which its back office can be configured, the tool’s robustness, and the ongoing support from the editor.
IDhall’s contribution to the dynamics of the second innovation challenge
The second edition of the “Graines d’innovation” challenge began in December 2021, lasting four months. A total of 100 team proposals were submitted, 10 of which were selected from among the winners to follow six-month project acceleration phases.
By choosing IDhall for its second challenge, the French national forestry office has succeeded in achieving its primary objective: to strengthen the innovation skills of its employees.
Thanks to the evolution of the process and the use of the tool, the ONF succeeded in overcoming the obstacles encountered during its first challenge. The organization benefited from an environment that encouraged synergy between individuals who were geographically distant, but united by common objectives. This greatly strengthened the collaborative dimension of the challenge and enabled the ONF to successfully advance towards its company purpose.
Today, the 10 selected project teams are continuing their second acceleration phase. They are coming together, collaborating, and forming a real community, helping to drive innovation forward at the ONF.
The entire Humanperf team was extremely pleased to support the French national forestry office in their innovation challenge and looks forward to continuing to support their commitment to a more sustainable and innovative future.