Marine Harvest: Using empathy to communicate across cultures

Having a truly global company with employees from many different countries, cultures and professional disciplines is not easy. Therefore, Marine Harvest, the world’s leading seafood company, works continuously on innovative ways to grow their business and cope with the challenges that come with having such a global presence.

In June 2017 Pracademy was invited to give a workshop for 150 of Marine Harvest’s employees in Edinburgh. The goal was to get everyone engaged around what it takes to successfully drive the future development of Marine Harvest globally and how an empathic mindset and design thinking can help them achieve their goals.

It has helped us in raising awareness around our own behavior, how we influence people around us and how this leads to outstanding performance. The feedback from our colleagues is that they left the workshop with more positive energy, some good ideas and tools to implement in their everyday work life.
— Andreas Mikalsen

Innovation Camp 2017: Can you tell a nurse to run faster?

More than half of the hospital beds in Bergen are occupied by only 10% of all patients. They stay longer than necessary because they need help with their recovery, but don’t know where else to go. If nothing changes, the municipality of Bergen is expected to face an increase of 93.5 million USD in health care expenses. How can design help them?

Patients and nurses missing or having unclear information on the patient’s return home is a major problem. There is no proper system in place to assist recovering patients in finding  the support they need.

At the same time, the rising healthcare costs indicate a need to serve more patients or to reduce staff. “We can’t tell a nurse that she needs to run faster. We need to work in smarter ways and use technology”, Alette Knudsen from Bergen Kommune comments.

Still, it is not just about time and money. Most important is the wellbeing of staff and patients. According to Alette, patients receiving the appropriate rights  and employees having a good working day are two of the most important goals. “If the nurse has a nice day, the patients has a nice day too and vice versa.”

Therefore the challenge of this year’s innovation camp was how to improve both the service to patients and their experience in the transition from the hospital to their homes.

According to Synnøve Olset, innovation adviser at the hospital, users are central to solving the problem. “We need a tool that embraces the users. It’s not just about asking what they need, but to understand how they think and interact with others as well.”

The role of Pracademy was to give the participants of the innovation camp these tools and to help them understand the end users to create innovative solutions.

As a result of the camp, an app is being developed which  involves volunteers that can take on some of the workload from the nurses. It allows patients who need help to get in touch with volunteers. In return the patients give something back to the volunteer such as food or company.

It may take some time until the idea is fully operational. But that is ok according to  Synnøve. “We don’t have the tool for the end user yet, but we’re gaining something every year! Most important was the change in mindset. Using design thinking, everyone learned to think a little different and emphasize the problem in a new way.”

The benefit for the hospital is that they have a new tool for the way they work and solve problems. Even if they don’t solve the problem right away, they can think of new ways of how it could be solved
— Synnøve Olset, innovation adviser at the hospital
The best experience we had was that employees learnt to work in another, new way. We think we will be able to get much more out of it and we definitely want to do this more!.
— Alette Knudsen, Bergen Kommune

For more information about the Innovation Camp click here

Change, or change will find you

The leading Norwegian maritime company, Wilhelmsen, claim that their industry is inherently volatile. According to the CEO, Thomas Wilhelmsen, they need a culture that is able to adapt before it is too late. They need a Silicon Valley mindset. They have no choice.

With 450 offices in 75 countries and 18.000 employees, a cultural shift is not easy. Changing corporate culture is a hard and slow process. According to Thomas, they also need to change their business model - from an old transactional model to a maintenance type of solution. But where to start? 
Innovating new technologies and business models can be valuable. According Wilhelmsen's top management, getting closer to their customers and cooperating better with multiple stakeholders will put them in the best position to add additional value. Therefore they want to adopt an agile, Silicon Valley mindset and a human-centered innovation process. They want to adopt Design Thinking. 
Wilhelmsen reached out to the leading Design Thinking educators globally. This includes top universities like Stanford. Their need was a program that could educate the future leaders of Wilhelmsen. Pracademy submitted a proposal and was eventually chosen.
In June, Pracademy was invited to the Annual Management Forum with Wilhelmsen's top 30 managers globally. The purpose was to communicate the value of design thinking and Pracademy as a partner for Wilhelmsen’s Leadership Potential Program (LEPO). Here is some of the feedback: “Exceptionally good,” “lots of energy,” and “people were over the moon about it.”

As a result of this success, 15 representatives from the top management, including Thomas Wilhelmsen, volunteered as mentors for LEPO. Through this program, Pracademy will train 24 managers from across the world in design thinking during four modules, lasting three days each. The aim is to enable Wilhelmsen to focus on corporate culture, change, and the design of innovative products and services. In this way, Wilhelmsen can continue to shape the maritime industry going forward, as they have done for the last 156 years.