Collaboration Sparks Innovation

Collaboration Sparks Innovation

Elizabeth KrausDirector, Chief Innovation Office

Many people tend to think that innovation mainly applies to technology, research or product development, but there are innovative solutions to be found in all areas of business and everyday life.

Truly understanding the value of innovation is critical for companies. In today’s world you can be certain that what worked for us yesterday will not work for us tomorrow. Innovation is not just about having the next big idea: it’s about discerning what is not working in day-to-day operations and coming up with solutions on how to improve it. Small changes pave the way for bigger changes and projects.

Elizabeth Kraus Herbalife Nutrition

However, innovation doesn’t happen overnight. For a workplace to be truly innovative you must first create a culture of innovation within the company. This can be accomplished through executive support, resources for funding new initiatives, and education on innovation.

At Herbalife Nutrition, we’re fostering a culture where teamwork and collaboration come together to spark innovative solutions to improve our business so we can better support our distributors, which ultimately improves the experience for our customers.

Where Big Ideas Are Shared: The Innovation Center

For outsiders, our new Innovation Center might look like a modern room you’d expect to see at a major tech company, but for us, it’s so much more.

Innovation Center

Herbalife Nutrition has many labs around the world focused on product development and innovation. But our Innovation Center is designed specifically ­­to allow cross-functional teams to come together and help solve some of the company’s biggest problems. It is a creative space where everything is mobile, including furniture and walls.

Unlike a standard conference room, where more structured meetings take place, teams can come in, express wild ideas, write on walls and brainstorm comfortably in this environment.

Recently, we hosted a Designathon – a design marathon where a large group of designers and developers gathered together to come up with a new nutrition club mobile app for our distributors. We also hosted our first Innovation Summit where diverse employees from around the world gathered for a week to focus on our mission to create a culture of innovation within Herbalife Nutrition.

We are also proud that our Innovation Center was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal with the 2020 Commercial Real Estate Award for Best Office Project (Silver).

Why We Started the Greenhouse

The Greenhouse is an online idea management and crowdsourcing system accessible to all Herbalife Nutrition employees around the world. This tool allows every single employee to share, view, collaborate, and discuss ideas around key corporate issues. Engaging all of our employees in our innovation process is key because we can use our collective brainpower to come up with the best solutions. Employees here are very excited to be part of change and appreciate that their voices are being heard by senior management and their ideas are coming to life.

When we launched the program last year, it was all about getting employees excited, engaged, and willing to participate. This year, however, we are seeing better quality ideas entered, and aligning the challenges we run with the corporate strategy, so we can produce better results and provide more value to the organization.

We have already seen great initial results from the innovation projects that are being executed and have saved approximately $2.5 million through various initiatives, which include cost savings, efficiency gains, and process improvements. We expect our results to continue to grow as our program matures.

Removing barriers to innovation is a very important component to making sure we are successful with our innovation program. This is why we make it a priority to provide funding for the initiatives which have potential to bring value to the organization, even those with soft benefits.

So far, we have selected more than 150 new ideas for potential implementation, 15 of which have already received funding and are now in progress. We continue to launch new crowdsourcing challenges at both the global and regional levels.

Building a Better Tomorrow Together

In the years to come, we hope to bring even more value to the organization by removing barriers to innovation and enabling teams to think outside the box. We don’t expect all of the projects we fund to succeed: our goal is to allow employees to try new things that will either be proven successful or to fail fast and learn from failure.

By encouraging collaboration, creativity and innovation, we are enabling our employees worldwide to engage in the company’s strategy. To be a part of that opportunity thrills me every day.