Creating a platform for innovation
Spreadshirt AG
With fierce competition and a constantly evolving market, demand for innovation at Spreadshirt, Europe's biggest print-on-demand platform, is high. While Spreadshirt was already good at continuous improvements of their e-commerce business, management realized the need for more big innovation thinking. We used a participatory, strength-based approach to help Spreadshirt become a more agile, learning-oriented company.

To be sustainable, innovation has to be embedded in the company's culture.
To strengthen Spreadshirt's innovation capabilities we therefore started a conversation about cultural values, norms and mindsets within the company.
Qualitative interviews revealed invaluable data on the current status of innovation. And it created room for open dialog within the company.
We gathered over 200 cultural insights and concrete innovation ideas.
A basic innovation process and corresponding project canvas was quickly adopted within the company. Within six months, we had achieved a lot and it looked like we were set up for success.
But then we hit rock button. The guild struggled to select ideas to focus on. A leading member left the company. And the innovation initiative didn't have enough internal support. I talked about this heavy crisis and what we learned from it at the Intersection Conference in Copenhagen:
Fortunately, this was not the end. The intrinsic motivation some guild members had attained during our work helped us to move forward again. And the conversations around innovation had created strong relationships we were now able to rely on. We learned a lot from our mistakes and emerged with a stronger, more mature picture of what innovation could mean for Spreadshirt. Eventually, the results of our work became the foundation of a master thesis at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.
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