Nowadays many things in a business’s environment are rapidly changing, and radically. Here at the Mibelle Group, we too have a duty to find and implement fundamental innovations not only in our products, but also in our processes and business model. A corporate culture which simultaneously promotes continuous optimisation of what already exists and seeks and examines fundamentally new approaches helps.
At the start of the year our CEO, Luigi Pedrocchi, presented a project to Mibelle’s workforce which offered us a platform from which to embark upon a new and unknown path and to dare to experiment. This was a cultural project in conjunction with Wildegg Castle, involving an exhibition is autumn of this year intended to make an impression with a unique olfactory experience. The idea of the Festival was to initiate a dialogue between famous perfumers and fragrance experts and a historical site, and to promote understanding of the perfumer’s trade, the art of perfumery and its culture.
Our management decided on active participation in this perfume experience. The project was supposed first and foremost to provide a platform for the Mibelle Group and individual employees to showcase their innovative ability within the company and externally. Secondly it allowed the participants to nurture and demonstrate their creativity on a specific, unusual project. This ultimately also led to increased expertise in dealing with new customer requirements.
Opportunities and benefits for the participants
The participants were given space and time to work on their ideas. The intention is that the freshly converted wooden barn, called the “Creahouse”, should be accessible to any employee, for this project and in the future, who wants to wrestle undisturbed for a couple of hours with an innovative topic. There was also the opportunity to request support with methods and training in order to make the work more efficient and fun (e.g. how to generate new ideas, how to structure a project of this kind, etc.).
In the end three creative teams took up this challenge and each chose a space in the castle in which to implement their fragrance concepts.
Wonderful ideas developed over the following months, a lot of commitment was shown and throughout there a perceptible air of great enthusiasm. Each of the three teams devised quite different and extremely exciting concepts.
Fragrant ability to innovate
The result could certainly be smelled and was impressive. The castle attic was transformed into a fragrant garden room, the otherwise absolutely bare room being decorated with suspended dried-flower bouquets, baskets full of dried flowers, and massive, bulbous bottles of different essential oils. New life was brought to the aristocratic stables with animal silhouettes projected onto the walls. Their not unpleasant smells could be smelled from a display of pharmacy bottles and nicely arranged test tubes. And at the very end, on traversing the darkened cellar exit, we encountered smells and scents that would previously have been familiar to the lord of the castle on his hunting expeditions.
During the exhibition week our participants received many compliments for their work from visitors to the castle. The Festival’s instigators, Verein SCENT, were not the only ones to leave with an extremely favourable impression of the Festival of Fragrance. Our CEO, Luigi Pedrocchi, is also thrilled by the participants’ dedication and passion: “We totally achieved our objectives: the teams displayed skills which we will need much more in future in order to be successful in the market.“
What we learned
The Mibelle Group not only accepts creativity and innovation, they are critical to our long-term success. Every employee should contribute his or her creativity, ideas and suggestions. Such suggestions gain in strength when teams form that have a common goal and organise themselves.
Process descriptions are appropriate tools for coordinating many people doing complex work and for complying with minimum quality standards. They can, however, also impeded cooperation and lead to compartmentalized thinking. This is why the rule of thumb here is “only as much as is needed”.
So our objective remains to blaze new trails and dare to Experiment.