CREWS: Impacting stories from our R&D teams
On our rituals for innovating and bringing home new skills.
Many things make us tick, and as curious individuals, we love to explore. We believe that to innovate, you must experiment; to experiment, you must be free. This is why we give space to research and provide ongoing resources to our passionate people. Over the years, we have consolidated a process to support this activity, which has led to the launching of some of our most successful solutions and exciting experiments. This is how we interpret innovation and how we explore uncharted territories.
A crew is a team that works closely together for a common goal. The culmination of a crew’s exploration is its final destination.
At MAIZE, this is how in we approach innovation, know-how, and R&D practices. Our Crews are formed out of shared interest and passion; they self-organize and define their goals and path as they embark on a challenging journey. Resources, time, and expertise are provided when needed, but all the rest is up to them as they explore the unknown. At the end of the voyage, the results are concrete, tangible, and mostly reusable.
Anyone can be a crew member; this is how we spread R&D across the entire organization, making room for talent and ambition in search of new opportunities.
The Call for Ideas takes place once a year on our ideas crowdsourcing platform. From that moment on, anyone — regardless of role and seniority — can promote the formation of a Crew around a topic they feel is worth exploring. At least three people must share an idea to make a proposal.
An internal team, democratically elected each year among all employees, becomes the driving council (Tipi) for the experimentation period. The Crews pitch their proposal and list the resources needed, simply, no presentations or fancy PowerPoints. The Tipis review all submissions and ideas and select the best ones to launch, usually 3 to 5.
In the months that follow, the Crews work on their projects, supported by the Tipis and any other resources they identify as relevant. While researching, they also attend conferences and courses. We strongly believe that experimentation and learning go hand in hand.
At the end of each round, the Crews present the results of their work in a live event open to everybody: clients, students, competitors, or even just people who are curious about the world of innovation.