Participative innovation by Safran

The Innov'Acteurs association has given Safran an award for its participative innovation approach. Yves Leclère, Executive Vice President of Transformation, talks about how important these initiatives are within the Group.

How is the participative innovation approach deployed at Safran?
We consider participative innovation just as important as disruptive innovation, i.e. technological breakthroughs. It gives everyone a chance to be recognized for their initiatives, regardless of their situation in the company. At the Management convention in January 2012, Safran accordingly decided to expand and intensify its participative innovation approach. And the decision is already starting to yield results: field reviews show that all of the Group's sites, in France and abroad, are getting actively involved. Over the past year, more than 32,000 initiatives spawned by the participative innovation approach have been put to use!
In practice, the methods used to collect proposals in the field and help innovations emerge vary with the culture of the country concerned. We take a very down-to-earth approach with no hard-and-fast rules. The main thing is that Safran employees, wherever they are and whatever their profession or function, can easily put forward innovative initiatives.

What has the Group already gained from the approach in economic and human terms?
Participative innovation consists in getting men and women involved in a bid for greater efficiency and productivity to generate growth. Safran's industrial, economic and commercial achievements are largely due to this drive. But quite apart from the economic aspects, it is a rewarding approach for individuals and the Group alike. By highlighting the power of teamwork, it is totally in line with the Group's values: individual initiatives underpin collective performance. This collective intelligence is a wonderful form of renewable energy.

What did Safran commit to by signing the participative innovation charter?
Safran decided to step up its approach by signing the participative innovation charter at the Carrefour de l'Innovation Participative meeting organized by the Innov'Acteurs association* on November 29, 2012. For Safran, it was a unique opportunity to discuss the subject with similar-sized industrial groups that belong to the association. It helps us learn by sharing experience and building our expertise. In November 2012, the Sagem (Safran) site in Fougères received the 2012 participative innovation trophy for its use of tools and methods that boost continuous improvement. The system set up at this site is particularly mature and efficient, with over 10 ideas applied per person and per year.

* Innov'Acteurs draws together such widely differing companies as GDF-Suez, Total, Auchan, Air France Industries, Liebherr and Société Générale, among others.