Rescuing 1500 manufacturing jobs: The Innovation Dream Team at work

The video tells the unique story. But the most important lesson for you is how the team and I worked and trained, gradually becoming able to make such an achievement…

As most intellectual work are structured in projects, we will in our professional life, no matter our age, get new chances to adjust the direction of our career.

Being 75 years old, I am still creating the next steps in my career. When I retrospectively look at my many small steps during 50 years, I followed an important advice given when I was young. “The Advice” was:

Whenever you are given a challenging new task, job or project then regard it as a golden opportunity to show the very best of yourself. This is the moment for you to invest all what you have of time, talents, skills and experiences to solve this first task”.

Try to follow “The Advice” once. The benefit will make you will follow it forever. The value of ’’The Advice’’ has been demonstrated again and again in my life with innovation.

26 years old, I had my first day in the job as Project Manager at Carmen Clairol. Carmen Clairol was a fast growing entrepreneurial company developing and manufacturing personal care products as for instance hair setters. I was determined to follow “The Advice”: The R&D department had made an inconvenient opening function in one of the bestselling products. Most users were unable to open the appliance. Many work arunds were tried, but no success. So why not test the new young man on this task?

I got my first project. I followed “The Advice”. Worked hard to find a solution, and found it. My career at Carmen Clairol had started.

The way to the Innovation Dream Team of Carmen Clairol.                                                                                                 

Eight months later I was promoted to become the R&D Manager in the company and I faced a new task of Managing: “How to manage the teams and individuals creative work in a way, where they were guided to follow The Advice”?

Once more, I personally followed “The Advice” and developed a course for my teams. It was formed out of my own working method and the philosophy in “The Advice”. The DNA of Learn From Innovators was born.

I asked my staff to come to the factory in the evenings to be trained in the new working method and philosophy. In the working hours during the day they practiced in their projects. We ended sharing the same working method and philosophy.  The Carmen Clairol Innovation Dream teams were created; composed of Innovation Practitioners and Innovation Executive.

In the video, I share my favorite story about how the high performing innovation dream team made an incredible accomplishment – innovating against all odds towards a final dead line. In a quest to save 1500 jobs.

Erik Keldmann

December 18, 2015
© Keldmann Innovation A/S