Innovation @ CSR [Case Study]

Engaging people for ideas for improvement and innovation with tangible success

The CSR team provided an overview of their people-based approach to continuous improvement and innovation. They started with the CSR Way, which has operated successfully in the manufacturing division for over a decade and has been hugely successful in improving quality, increasing productivity and efficiency, and helping CSR become a global leader in building products. CSR is building on the CSR Way through our ‘Catalyst Approach’ to engage people from all parts of the organisation in innovation. Already they are seeing great results from their network of catalysts who operate in different divisions and locations.

Key insights

  • People are the best commodity (Innovation is ‘people’ solving problems and enhancing the customer experience).
  • CSR Way success is built on a minimum framework. (A Stage-Gate process exists for ‘complex’ ideas and requires management approval). A core philosophy of their approach is ‘complex processes breed simple behaviour, simple processes breed complex behaviour’.
  • CSR can share innovation and experiences across a number of business entities. A range of cross-function initiatives breaks down the silos of the wider organisation.
  • CSR is working to remove the ‘black-art’ culture from their business.
  • CSR uses an alternative ‘risk profile’ for innovative activity. This enables ‘risky’ behaviour to be promoted in the right conditions.
  • CSR brought ‘product managers’ to the coal-face, i.e. a tiling manufacturer visiting building sites to understand the ‘need’ from customers.
  • There is no lack of ideas, the implementation of ideas is the difficult part.
  • Finding the right catalysts is important. CSR used a service provider (Optimice) to help identify the go-to people for innovation within the organisation.

CSR Building Products is a Member of Hargraves Institute, leading innovation in Australia via their commitment to our Member Advisory Council and collaboration with peer members.

Case Study written for Hargraves by y Adam Costantini, Contract Management Officer, Directorate of Base Services: Management, Integration & Coordination. Adam was a guest of Hargraves at the PSIA Tours.

Read further Case Studies in this series.

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