At the recent Hargraves Institute “Inspiration and Innovation” Women’s luncheon, we were very fortunate to have Rene van der Loos from NRMA share insights.
NRMA Road Service plays in a highly competitive market and cars have changed dramatically since this trusted group first came into our homes in the 1920’s. Rene kindly shared her story of innovation – working with an off-site team that was specifically formed to look at opportunities to transform the business into the future.
Rene’s team of diverse people were from all areas of the business and started with a blank canvas – in terms of ideas and how they would work together. Rene shared how important it was to focus on the people within the team and how they interacted together. People are key to achieving any outcome. How they did it included looking not just at a solution, but focusing on tools to change the way team traditionally thought everyday and also how they approached the problem at hand.
Key elements of the success of Rene’s team included:
- Authenticity (or as she said “to put your cards face up on the table”, “ no blame games”)
- Immersion, yet outward looking – 1238 customers were touched & involved. Other stimuli involved getting points of view from futurists, CEO’s across many industries, CSIRO, ‘bounce & build’ workshops with a range of diverse age groups
- Dynamic teams – people swapped to encourage fresh and challenge thinking.
- Explore the ideas that influence the pain points, understand people’s emotional journey and their feelings.
Many ideas were generated and the team has Board support to continue. An idea that came out of the initial process is now their new Emergency Home Assist product – recognizing that homes break down too.
One of the great things Rene encouraged was that every idea had validity – in fact if someone didn’t agree with an idea – their brief was to think about how to make it better not to squash it.
This story had a real mark of tenacity and bravery both from a professional and team perspective as well as personally, herself. Hearing her story, learnings and how Rene approached the opportunity to transform was inspirational to all in the room.
Hargraves Institute would like to sincerely thank Rene for the insights and inspiration she gave to us all. We would also like to thank Angela Peverell and Cathy Dalby from OfficeHQTM who hosted a beautiful lunch in a great location.