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Kickbox for Impact - getIT
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Sustainability

Kickbox for Impact

The Kickbox intrapreneurship spirit is all about what we can do rather than what we must do.
Michael Hunkeler
Michael Hunkeler, Head of Intrapreneurship Swisscom Kickbox
09 juin 2021

Kickbox for Impact

The Kickbox intrapreneurship spirit is all about what we can do rather than what we must do. If you have an idea that you feel passionate about, with Kickbox you get everything you need to start and make it BIG. Nobody gives you orders or tells you what to do. We believe people who care can create awesome things if they have the space to do so!

As you might have noticed, there is a similar shift going on in the corporate responsibility space. Whereas the discussions used to be dominated about what companies must do, they are increasingly focused on what companies can do.

Plant-based meat substitutes? There is huge and growing demand.

Sustainable concrete? Will probably win you the large government contract.

Electric cars? One of the biggest opportunities in the market!

Additionally, the top talent companies aim to attract and keep demands to work on things with a positive impact.

Kickboxers want to create things they can be proud of

What I love about my job of running an intrapreneurship program at Swisscom is that everyday someone comes up to me to pitch a new idea. It is awesome! I also realized that the crucial factor for success is the person and her motivation. People might start a Kickbox to learn about a new client need, to put it on their CV, to create a new job for them or simply to work with cool people. But no matter why they start, there is a clear trend of people starting Kickboxes to have a positive impact with what they do.

And why not? It is a great way to move quickly and prove that a new way of doing things is possible – even and especially in a large company. Sustainability intrapreneurs are also the most inspiring people to work with and the ones with near infinite and renewable sources of motivation. But how do we find these individuals within our company and how can we support them best in their journey? Over the years, we have found two approaches that work best.

Figuren mit Baum

Finding the right innovators - Campaign for change

At Swisscom, the Kickbox Program is open 365 days for employees to start new ideas. Additionally, we organize 3-4 strategic idea campaigns a year. Organizing these campaigns is a big challenge for me and my team at Swisscom Kickbox, but we believe it is worth it! Mainly because of three benefits. Firstly, with a campaign we help Swisscom to tap into the knowledge of our employees to create actionable solutions for strategic topics. Secondly,

we mobilize a Jury of senior people, ready to invest in a promising BlueBox, making it more likely for Kickboxers to succeed. Thirdly, it is the best way to rally people from across the company around a specific topic. After many campaigns, we found sustainability to be one of the best topics to bring people together from different business units.

Supporting the innovators right - Impact for everyone

Some of our Kickboxers start with sustainability at heart. Others come across it in their journey. How can we support them best to create a venture with impact? We have tried various approaches, from dedicated sustainability workshops, to targeted matching with sustainability experts. However, we noticed that these approaches felt to the kickboxers like something they had to do rather than something they chose to do.

Once again, we realized we should design the Kickbox journey in a way that the Kickboxers can get support in the sustainability topic if they see the need. Today, we thus offer a session with Sarah Sustainable, a dedicated sustainability professional, right on the Kickbox marketplace. In this way, a kickboxer can reach out to Sarah whenever the time is ripe. In addition, we provide useful templates and tools to clearly define and communicate the Kickboxers sustainability strategy.

Don’t hate – collaborate!

The combination of campaigns and the self-service approach is our current best guess and one puzzle piece for how we can boost sustainability in intrapreneurship. There are other exciting developments going on. For example, the very successful cross corporate idea campaign between SBB and Swiss Tourism which not only generated great new ideas for sustainable tourism but is also one of the most successful examples of cross-corporate and bottom up innovation between two large companies. We are witnessing a new boom in sustainability in innovation and I am very curious to see where we can take it from here!

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Michael Hunkeler

Head of Intrapreneurship Swisscom Kickbox

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