The Open Innovation Program, the startup mentality

Published on Friday, 15 February 2019

Three workshops, almost two months of study and preparation and a final challenge between eight teams. The Open Innovation Program, a training course that started on 21 December 2018, promoted by Enel in collaboration with LVenture Group, one of the most important startup accelerators in Italy, came to a close on 13 February in Rome, at the offices of LUISS Enlabs.

The project involved 40 people from Enel’s Mercato Italia division and aimed to equip them with skills and tools to tackle the energy transition with an open and innovative approach, thereby allowing Enel clients to take advantage of the on-going transformation. A feature of digitalisation, in fact, is that the use of energy is beginning to take place on a more “human scale”.

The final day of the program saw the Enel personnel, grouped into 8 teams, in the roles of startuppers, presenting their pitches (5 minutes presentations to propose their projects) for solutions and innovative services created for our clients, developed using the skills acquired during the course.

In his address on the closing day of the Open Innovation Program, Carlo Tamburi, Enel Head of Country Italy, stressed how these ideas were developed around a key focus for our group: making our relationship with our diverse range of clients, which includes elderly people and families, often resistant to change and the use of new inventions, even more transparent through the use of cutting-edge technology and digitalisation. With this premise, Tamburi added, innovative offers and solutions have to be made simpler, so they become “accessible in three simple clicks”. This is created by “trying to walk in the customers’ shoes” in order to understand their different perspectives but at the same time taking full advantage of all the functional options that new technologies provide.

The Open Innovation Program, as Ernesto Ciorra, Enel’s Chief Innovability Officer noted, was intended to train our personnel and, at the same time, provide them with a range of skills that encourage a different way of thinking and facilitate the application of approaches and working methodologies from the startup world, not usually used by large multinational groups.

Nicola Lanzetta, Head of Enel Mercato Italia, Marco Barra Caracciolo, Enel’s Head of ICT Italia, Marco Frattini, Head of Marketing & Supply for Mercato Italia, and Fabio Ficca, Head of HR Business Partner Mercato Italia were all in the audience, listening to the pitches. Frattini and Ficca, who were tasked with bringing the day’s activities to a close, highlighted the commitment shown by everyone on the training course. As Frattini stressed, this was an opportunity to find out more about methodologies and communication tools from the startup world, and it had revealed recurring themes, such as the development of new services, starting with technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

The final workshop of the Open Innovation Program, organized with LVenture Group, concluded with the announcement of the three teams who had best embodied the aims of the training course with pitches emphasizing innovative services and ideas tailored for the client.

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