About Innovation: Why we hung movie posters on our office walls

Click to enlarge

A key part of my day job is looking at how Amdocs, as a company, continuously improves its innovation capabilities and becomes an innovation powerhouse. So, I’m going to start a series of “About Innovation” posts talking about this—welcome to the first installment! I have so many things to tell you about what we do at Amdocs to nurture a culture of innovation and to become an effective innovator. So in order to help me choose which topics to discuss, I’ll rely on your feedback to help guide me.

So why did we hang a bunch of movie posters across the company?

We wanted to make sure everybody in the company, and beyond, understands that “innovation works” at Amdocs. Not only that we are seeing the results of our innovation activities, but also that it is really worth it for all the various stakeholders, and in particular, one community was most of interest to me – the innovators themselves. As a large company, we have many processes to help weed out variability in our day-to-day operations, in order to consistently recreate our successes, consistently produce quality products, and consistently deliver massive transformation projects for the world’s largest service providers. You cannot do these things consistently without good established processes and best practices—so we have many of these. But that can make innovation, challenging, as it requires trying something that’s new and different, and not part of the established process. Some might think that innovators might not fit in this culture. Well, they are wrong. Innovators can fit in, and we need them. But it takes some adjusting and encouragement to make this happen.

So back to the posters. Basically, we wanted to achieve a few things:

  • We wanted to provide ample evidence that innovation works
  • We wanted to “immortalize” the innovators – and show that innovation benefits them directly
  • We wanted to put the innovators and their innovation efforts on a pedestal
  • We wanted to make sure everybody knows them and their innovations
  • And, we wanted to do all this in an innovative and creative way

One of the many ways we chose to achieve these goals was to create a series of billboard-sized movie posters that showcase the innovators and their successes. Initially, someone thought we should scan and Photoshop real movie posters and just change the faces and text, but we didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s copyrights. So we ended up creating our own set of posters – some are inspired by real movie posters, others went beyond and we started to be completely original. We hung hundreds of copies of these posters in the most visible spots we could find all across the company – dining hall entrances, coffee break spots, and well traveled hallways.

And it was a huge success. It simply worked. How do I know it worked? I heard from the innovators themselves. They felt flattered, even perhaps embarrassed. Most of them have these billboard-sized posters of them hanging in their office. But everybody, and I mean everybody, got the message. In fact, even our partners and customers noticed this. Our customers often visit our offices and they took notice. Here are a few things they had to say after seeing the posters:

I think the posters are an awesome way for back office people to get some serious bragging rights in the office that will last with them their entire careers, vs. the typical award that just goes on the shelf or in the trash.”– Adam Hersh, Director, AT&T

and

The first time I saw this man who is (evidently) not Keanu Reeves posing on a Matrix poster I was stunned. These posters send such a strong message about how important innovation is to Amdocs and about Amdocs’ commitment to innovation.” – Adrian Dilworth, Executive, Vodafone Global

These are just a few examples of the reaction. I am proud of the creative team that put these together, the innovators that are featured, and of their innovations.

Beyond the posters, we set up an internal website everybody at Amdocs can easily access where more details about these innovation successes—and other innovations—are explained. We promoted the site and the posters internally with an article on the company’s intranet portal.

One general point I’d like to emphasize: When fostering innovation and creating an innovation culture, you got to use plenty of internal communications, leveraging all means possible.

Just so you see what we came up with, and to further embarrass the innovators, here are a few of the posters.

Innovation Movie Poster - click to enlarge

So, what do you do in your company to recognize innovation and innovators?
Better yet, what are the most creative and effective ways you’ve found to do this?

9 thoughts on “About Innovation: Why we hung movie posters on our office walls”

  1. Using movie posters is a sure shot mechanism to attract attention. It also adds a component of glamour to the idea of innovation since these people are in true spirit ‘Amdocs celebrities’

  2. Having an innovative idea is one thing and promoting it is a totally different thing. Movies have always used technology in different ways so why not technology use movies for a change. This will ensure innvovators are in the minds of thier contemporaries for a long time

  3. Personally, I love these posters. They’re a clever, creative and very entertaining way of acknowledging the contribution of individual people who are responsible for coming up with new, innovative ideas.

  4. In many senses, programmes like this are the key to successful and improved employee engagement. I for one feel a lot more like the corporation actually has room for individual voices through programmes like this and the work that Tal’s team have been doing. I know I go on about customer experience a lot (:)), but it’s important that we as employees feel better about ourselves and our work, because ultimately that makes us feel a lot more positive about doing the right thing for our customers and being generally more customer-centric. A little idealistic of me perhaps, but programmes like this are a great way to foster that kind of feeling.

  5. Awesome, interactive, gets the message across to your audience that your IN the innovation space, occupying it and it’s the employees around you that are stars.

  6. Thanks for all the supportive feedback!

    I’ve updated the second quote to name the Vodafone Executive – he’s Adrian Dilworth, formerly CIO of Vodafone Qatar, now an Executive at Vodafone Global. Thx Adam and Adrian for permitting the quote!

  7. Hi Tal,

    Innovation is an Influencing, Motivating, Effective way for Creating beneficial Ideas to grow ourself faster and faster.

    Human being are always Influenced by Movies. Motivated by Actors in movies, and Affects a lot on behaviour and creativity.

    Innovators could match their small innovative sniplets with a small scenes and scenarios.

    Going further I would say, adopting a well socialogical & cultural practices will improve the way of innovation and ofcourse it would come from heart of everybody.

    Your light on innovation is a key motivating factor for all new growers (growing a huge baniyan tree a “Amdocs”) of our organization.

  8. Hats off Tal and Team to devise the most innovative way of promoting innovation;
    Using movie posters is the best way to attract attention of any type of audience; Movies are the only media which makes you fear, cry but still you go and watch it again and again at your own cost.

Leave a Reply to Rutwij Diwanji Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box