How Merck engaged 1500 of their employees in innovation

“We approached Strategos looking for a way to engage our employees very actively in innovation.  Our senior management was determined to tap into the minds of colleagues across the world both to partner more effectively with customers and to make our work environment the best in the Animal Health business.

Strategos helped us to build a robust innovation pipeline and change mindsets of our leaders and employees.  Through the resulting MIND program and the first set of focused series of innovation challenges it contained, over a period of eight months we generated and developed 300 unique ideas through the participation of over 1500 employees in 44 countries – a full 45 percent of our commercial organization.  In just the first 72 hours after launch, we had 864 participants in the idea process.  Employees gained an opportunity to interact with the senior executive sponsors of the innovation challenges, and the winning teams were given the opportunity to build their own execution teams with the help of the senior level sponsor.  Senior executives also contributed ideas of their own and commented on employee ideas, building tremendous buzz and momentum.

So far, of the 53 ideas selected from the market five are now in implementation, including a game changing poultry vaccination device that allows farmers to cut vaccination labor costs by over 50 percent and a substantially improved employee on-boarding process.

After the successful pilots, Merck Animal Health is now taking the next steps towards making our MIND model and idea market a permanent part of our core processes, with employees around the world able to contribute ideas in their own languages and collaborate to turn small initial ideas into big customer benefits and internal improvement opportunities.  We anticipate an ongoing stream of great ideas as well as even higher engagement of our colleagues as MIND becomes part of our DNA.

Brian Frederiksen, Global Director, Merck Animal Health


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