Change is a perpetual feature of the business landscape. As technologies evolve, market needs shift and make way for new business models, products and services. Whilst some companies grow and even thrive on business change, others fall behind and watch their markets expire. That’s why change management is fundamental to a business’s long-term survival. Innovation isn’t ancillary, it’s critical.
BDO is the perfect example of a company who knows how to weather change. Founded as Stoy & Co in 1908, the company has managed a vast number of political and market challenges, including two world wars and the digital revolution.
Today, BDO is the fifth-largest network of public accounting, tax, consulting and business advisory firms in the world. Innovation is a centrepiece of the BDO success strategy, which has preserved and built on the strengths of their unique corporate culture over the decades.
BDO is a matrix organisation with 91,000 partners and staff working in more than 1,658 offices worldwide. Tying together innovation teams across such a complex business was a unique challenge for them. BDO recognised that to manage their global innovation for success they needed robust tools, processes and structures to create and facilitate a shared sense of purpose across their locations.
“Innovation has been identified as key to the future success of our firm. It sits firmly within our business strategy…we have a board that is responsible for driving innovation and it’s a key priority that everybody is aware of.” – Zoe Bailey, Former Director of Strategic Development, BDO
Fortunately, the Idea Drop platform is perfectly suited to allowing innovation managers to build and connect communities no matter where they are in the world. That’s why in 2019, BDO took the next step in their innovation journey with the global implementation of Idea Drop.
BDO built a volunteer army of 27 passionate “innovation builders” – an elite team of innovators composed of a broad range of personnel from all corners and levels of the business, from c-level executives and partners to junior team members. These volunteers are key to driving the innovation process at BDO, helping senior staff to manage and track innovation throughout various business communities.
Zoe from BDO explained to us that Idea Drop was critical in creating an inclusive and democratic innovation programme that made the best ideas from each team available to the entire global BDO network:
“We’re organised by geography, by specialism, by support function, and we believed it was important that every one of those is represented.”
Watch the video below to find out about the Idea Drop features that BDO employees are most excited about.
When companies give all levels of personnel the opportunity to impact global business decisions, the passion of individual team members starts to shine through. The Idea Drop platform is an opportunity for everyone in the business to stand up, make a difference and become a business leader no matter what their day-to-day responsibilities are. Idea Drop’s suite of unique tools and features removes hierarchical and geographic barriers to innovation and enables users to collaborate based on their own unique knowledge and skills.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re an intern or a senior executive, your voice will be heard with this platform.” – BDO
The pace of change and improvement at BDO has accelerated considerably since Idea Drop’s rollout. To date, BDO has captured 1,795 new ideas from its employees. Almost 10,000 interactions on those ideas have been generated, with colleagues across the firm giving their feedback, input and contributions through “likes”, “comments” and “ratings”.
BDO has implemented more than 200 of the ideas proposed on Idea Drop, ideas that have enhanced their employees’ day-to-day working life, improved the company’s efficiency and embedded a strong innovation culture across the business.
Covid-19 has prompted an enhanced focus on employee wellbeing from both a personal and professional perspective. The global adoption of work-from-home policies meant that a lot of employees were feeling isolated and disconnected from their colleagues on an interpersonal level. A BDO employee submitted an idea through Idea Drop aimed at combating this phenomenon through virtual, informal meet ups. This idea was successfully trialled and subsequently implemented as “Coffee Connections”, BDO’s virtual platform for connecting with colleagues.
“The idea, using Idea Drop, went from concept to trial in just a few months and is now been rolled out across the UK” – Dan Francis, Head of Innovation, BDO
Coffee Connections has had a huge positive impact on employees’ mental wellbeing during a period of unprecedented change. Additionally, it’s given colleagues who may have never had the chance to meet in person a virtual space to network, collaborate and discuss career development opportunities.
Watch this video to find out more about BDO’s other actioned ideas:
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