IJM Corporation Bhd launched an Innovation Lab in its Petaling Jaya headquarters last week. The Innovation Lab serves as a platform to nurture a culture of innovation among its employees and to develop and execute value-driven breakthrough ideas for the company, customers as well as the various industries IJM serves.
The spearheading of the lab underscores a thrust identified in IJM’s strategic roadmap to drive innovation and intrapreneurship in the workplace – by building the right innovation culture, accelerating digital adoption, providing multiple platforms for collaboration and running skillset training through accelerator programmes.
IJM Innovation Lab – ‘Think Infinity’
Equipped with an 86-inch touch-screen smart panel and flexible fixtures that are designed for co-working, the lab is established to create a space for employees to engage and ideate across a spectrum of themes to solve business challenges, for knowledge sharing and rapid learning.
“The lab gives a boost to our existing office, opening its doors to a new audience and transforming it into a centre of innovation and collaboration. This is a space where our talent can come together with external talent and partners in an inclusive environment, to exchange ideas and to challenge the status quo,” said Datuk Soam Heng Choon, CEO & Managing Director, IJM.
On the lab’s tagline, ‘Think Infinity’ he said: “We want our employees to embody the spirit of the tagline – to push their boundaries, be more imaginative and creative, and be bolder in driving breakthroughs regardless of their role.”
A framework to nurture innovation and inspire intrapreneurship
IJM operates in an environment that is undermined by a slowing growth in the global economy and local markets, rising costs of doing business, diminishing margins, rapidly changing business landscape, capability gaps and competition.
To continue delivering sustainable results, unearth growth opportunities and future-proof investments, the Group recognizes that it needs to go beyond bricks and mortar and constantly reinvent to deliver greater value to its stakeholders.
The focus is on innovation to fuel new solutions and give rise to unconventional ideas with the potential to transform the ecosystems IJM operate in, at the same time create differentiation in its product and service offerings.
Fostering an intrapreneurial mindset – growing the organization from within to disrupt things from the inside out and bottom up – has been identified to develop and accelerate IJM’s innovation capabilities.
“Intrapreneurship not only leads to promising and profitable new products and services across multiple industries to drive the bottom line of the business – it is a vehicle for company-wide transformation,” said Lee Chun Fai, Deputy CEO & Deputy Managing Director, IJM, who plays a pivotal role in driving the company’s innovation agenda.
“We want to empower our employees by giving them the freedom to pursue their entrepreneurial interests and help them bring it to life. This means encouraging them to dream big, having the willingness to invest in their ideas and allowing them to learn from failure,” Lee added.
While IJM’s Innovation Lab is one of the key enablers, other initiatives in Group’s framework of supporting channels and programmes to generate an innovation mindset and mobilize intrapreneurship include:
• Implementing a framework from ideation to proof-of-concept as well as the go-to-market strategy, which includes testing and piloting.
• Building online platforms to gamify the idea generation process where employees are empowered to share ideas and solutions in a transparent and fun way.
• Enhancing innovation competency and capacity through knowledge sharing sessions by subject matter experts on digital trends and outlook; new products and technologies; experience sharing and mentoring by leaders within the company.
• Launching a reward system to recognise innovation efforts through awards, seed fund, coaching and mentoring and a ‘safe-to-fail’ environment for our people to try new things and experiment.