Embedding Innovation into Our Culture

Sam Chapman - March 15th, 2019

I’m often asked how we continually drive innovation to ensure we are delivering the best products and experiences, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about The Floow’s ‘Innovation Days’, which are just one way we make this happen.

With all our teams busy everyday with delivering exceptional projects for our clients, we decided that we needed to ensure that our day to day work did not get in the way of looking at what comes next.

Our industry is changing and developing at an amazing speed. New technologies are being created all the time that allow us to ever improve, refine and push the boundaries of what we can offer our clients. Keeping on top of these and which ones will offer the best value, is a continuous challenge, but critical to keep us ahead of the competition. We therefore instigated ‘Innovation Days’, during which everyone in the business spends the day away from their usual roles, working on new projects.

These projects are generated from internal ideas, research and client requests, and range from the logical next step, right to the outlandish and everything in-between. Each project team is handpicked to include the specific skills and experience required to develop the idea to a point where we can assess whether it has the potential to become part of our product roadmap, or whether there are learnings to be gained that can be applied to other projects.

This approach has forged the way for a number of key developments that are now part of our roadmap activity. These include revisions to risk scores, improving driver app engagement, speeding up background map calculations and many more things that all feed into enhancing our products.

For our teams, it’s a chance to explore ideas without the usual constraints of their day-to-day role and also to work with different members and departments that they may not always work that closely with. This has allowed for a better understanding between teams of how each other works and the forging of new relationships to break down barriers and create true inter-disciplinary working.

And it’s not just our technology that is subjected to this process. Innovation Days are also used to look at our internal processes and see if there’s a better way to do them that may be more efficient or offer additional value or insight to the business. An example of this has allowed us to tweak our expense systems to significantly reduce the amount of admin time required, allowing valuable time resource to be spent elsewhere.

I think embracing innovation as part of the culture is to say that we are never finished, we are always learning and looking to improve the way we work, and it’s this attitude that has allowed us to grow the way we have over the past 7 years. Also in the same vein, as we look to the future, we will be looking to learn new ways of ensuring innovation continues to be the bedrock of our culture.

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