Team up for good

Team up for good

SpainBarcelona, Spain
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

“Team up for good” is an internal community inviting all our employees to “team up” and collaborate to change the World. Collaboration is the key to undertake meaningful actions toward the environment, our Human Resources and our communities. We can do so much together…

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

I work for a World top 5 communication agency. Its influence on our society is huge in terms of consumption, stereotypes and trends. I’m revolted when I see advertising using women’s body to sell cars, brands using children’s innocence to make them sick or weak families getting into debt to buy irresponsible products… Even within agencies there are many incongruities. Why do men always get more paid than women? Is it necessary to travel all around the World to meet clients? What about transparency? Communication agencies have the influence to change their employees’, clients’ and society’s behavior toward sustainability. Why not start with that?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

I rely on collaboration to solve such a massive challenge so I created an online community where all the employees of my company are encouraged to become leaders of change. The platform first provides environmental and social information to make them all aware of the challenge we face. This works as a motivational drive for them to share thoughts and good practices with their clients, suppliers, and communities… As in any online communities, employees are able to connect one with each other, team up and collaborate to respond to issues such as: How to use communication as a driver for greener behavior? What initiatives can we implement to reduce our CO2 emissions? How to create a mentoring system to empower women within the industry? We can do so much together…
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The first action we implemented thanks to the community responds to both the environmental and social goals of our CSR strategy. I started a new topic online asking “How can we make sure that the waste we recycle in our offices are actually dropped in the correct public cans at the end of the day?” People teamed up and came up with a new initiative: to recruit persons with Down syndrome to take charge of our waste management. They will first act on reducing and reusing resources (eg. create notepad with used paper). Then, they will recycle the trash in the correct public cans. This solution enable us to go even further and organize regular collect of goods from the employees for local NGOs such as clothes, toys, medicine drugs, hygiene products, food, etc. The team has now contacted an agency helping disabled people to recruit 3 new part-time employees. 3 persons are going to be able to work. Even though it will be few hours a day, I know it means a lot to them, having their first job… This community has the power to do good, for the company, for our employees who see direct results of their actions and for the society.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Most of the companies have a CSR department nowadays. All the main communication agencies have formed a dedicated team to solve sustainability issues, volunteers or not. We are differentiating ourselves because we rely on everyone. We know that nobody could improve our employees’ daily work better than themselves. We empower them to become leaders and make the change come true. This is the only way our actions will be meaningful and smoothly integrated into everybody’s tasks, from the top executives to the account directors and the secretaries.
Team

Founding Story

Sustainability is a subject that should be addressed all together instead of by individuals. I first started with a blog which purpose was to open the dialogue within my office of 30 employees. I asked questions and they answered in the comments section. It worked well, people were participating and I noticed that the actions implemented were better accepted due to its bottom-up decision process. At the same time, my global colleagues were always asking me about what the group was doing and CSR reports, because this information was not available in any webpage. The community became then evident. We need a platform where all employees can collaborate to respond to sustainability issues, implementing all together new initiatives. Additionally, it should include an informative part with training, best practices and reports.
About You
About You
First Name

Marion

Tell us about yourself/your team.

I’m an inspirer and I believe in inspiring people to lead meaningful change. “Team up for good” is the result of this spirit aiming to make people collaborate for change.

I’m Marion Chevalier, changemaker.

The first time I got aware of the power of collaboration to drive happiness was during a trip in Laos. I then created the Sustainability area in my multinational company. I’ve always told my CEO that if we wanted to succeed this meaningful mission, we had to involve the employees and enable them to make the change come true.

Instead of one, we are now 5000 brains around the World to make our company a responsible brand.

What makes you an intrapreneur? What are the skills, capabilities, and personality traits that make you an intrapreneur?

I started my professional life as an intern in a worldwide communication agency. After few months, I noticed some habits in the offices that I considered irresponsible. With my boldness spirit, I talked to the CEO and convinced him to implement an internal CSR activity, starting with an awareness campaign about green practices. I’m now leading a team of volunteers in 30 countries to make my company sustainable.

My strongest skills as an intrapreneur are my values. I couldn’t conform to how the company was acting so I took the opportunity to improve it. My values give me the strength to inspire others to rally around my vision.

I define myself as a transformational leader, empowering others to think out of the box and innovate. This is what “Team up for good” is all about.

About Your Organization
Company Country

, BA, Barcelona

Primary country where this project is creating social impact
Additional countries or regions

Global

Industry

Other

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Innovation
Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)

The Solution: Why is this solution innovative for your company and industry?

Before this global community, every local agency was doing their own business for local causes. It is how most global companies operate.
We are now globally connected for good. The projects have bigger impact, the resulting ideas to solve social or environmental issues are more creative thanks to more people involved.

We still give priority to local causes, but now, someone in Spain or a project done in China can inspire a new initiative in the USA.

Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

So far, the community has been launched only in Spain where we have around 1000 employees. It is the first step before a global launch.

The first result of its launch is an innovative initiative responding to both the social and environmental criteria of our CSR strategy: Reducing, Reusing and Recycling our waste with the help of 3 recruited employees with Down syndrome.

These persons will come every day in our office, collecting all the papers to recreate notepad for the employees, recycling waste, and controlling the overconsumption of energy (air-conditioning and light) in the offices. This process will reduce and recycle our annual 25,000kg of waste in Spain, 127,000kg globally.
In addition, they will collect goods to donate to local NGOs for people in need: clothes, toys, medicine drugs, hygiene products, food, etc.

What is your projected impact over the next 1 to 3 years?

The community plans to initiate new local projects every 3 months at the beginning by identified leaders. In the first year, we will have 4 projects initiated in 30 countries, in total 120 projects will be growing. These projects include green initiative to improve the offices’ impact, human resources actions to improve our employees’ wellbeing and development, social projects to improve our local communities, such as fighting hunger, poverty, human rights, and supporting social entrepreneurship, women recognition, education…

In 3 years, we’ll count 120x3= 360 local projects, more the international ones and initiatives started by rising leaders. We expect a total of 500 projects around the Word by the end of 2015.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

For now, two obstacles have occurred: the group’s lack of budget (due to the crisis) and people too busy to participate (due to the crisis…)

I consider it as a good exercise to even more innovate. The ideas resulting from the collaboration process must be “low-costs” which make the employees work their creativity and problem-solving skills. It will definitely be useful for their own development.

The low participation level is an issue we have been thinking for long. That is why we developed a “gaming” dimension to our community. All users participating will win medals with different values depending on their commitment. It brings recognition to the collaborative process.

Sustainability
What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?

For a global communication agency, we gain mostly in terms of reputation toward our clients.
We have been selling a wide study about Meaningful Brands and how companies with sustainability initiatives will remain on the market while the other won’t. We explain our clients how to start sustainable practices so it’s crucial for our credibility to have a strong CSR program ourselves.

It helps as well increasing our employees’ wellbeing, development and so productivity.

How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?

I think my main strength is my inspirational skills. After convincing the CEO of my company of the community’s high potential and to invest in it, I succeeded to move our internal departments’ interest to participate with the lowest cost possible. Our web designers are so motivated that they voluntarily work on additional features that we need. An internal programmer whom I talked to has succeeded to convince his boss to reduce the initial budget for me.

I also lead a worldwide team of CSR volunteers who are always supporting the community, giving recommendations and new ideas to improve. (see question about partnerships across the company)

Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.

In terms of the concrete community platform, the investment has been done at the very beginning, from the top executive global committee to internal areas within our companies (design and programing). The funds are moving within the company, allowing its growth even in a crisis situation.

Now, the only investments that will be done in the long-term will be to support the local actions (results of the community collaboration). The costs will be low.

In terms of support, thanks to a gaming system, the employees will be encouraged to take leadership positions within the community. The community will then be auto-managed by itself.

Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.

I cannot manage a community of 5000 worldwide users by myself. So I created a network of volunteers in each country where we operate in order to support the community.
They have been a precious help when we defined the platform’s structure, functions, and design… Their strength is their diversity: IT employees, account managers, corporate communication leaders, marketing, HR, finance, media planners, etc. I’m certain the community reaches every profile in our company.

What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?

The first person who gave me support was the CEO of our company. He is the sponsor of this project. It was useful for me to reach all our country managers and team leaders.
I also have support from the head of Human Resources and the director of strategy.
A wide CSR network of volunteers are supporting the community and many punctual persons who were just interested to collaborate.