Immersion Day 2019 – Shaping the organisation of the future

cinfo's Immersion Day took place on 28 November 2019 in Bienne, Switzerland. The event brought together more than 60 participants – project managers, HR managers, innovation enablers, as well as knowlegde management and digital transformation specialists. These people come from organisations that take action for the Sustainable Development Goals internationally.

Digital transformation has and will have a profound impact on the mindset, skills and framework conditions of those working in the sector. This is why cinfo is making it a thematic priority.

SH▲PING Magazine – Special edition

What happened

During the day, organised in collaboration with Superloop Innovation, participants immerged themselves in topics such as...

  • digital transformation – why it matters
  • steps in organisational transformation
  • environments conducive to learning and innovation
  • the ABC of experimentation and agile working
  • leadership buy-in and employee engagement 

In the morning, professionals and experts shared inspiring stories (see below) with participants, allowing them to explore, in small groups, practices of the future. The latter also got an insight into contextual know-how and good practice models. In the afternoon, participants gave their imagination free reign: they shaped the organisation of tomorrow and, this is essential, designed their own takeways consisting of concrete actions that they could implement in the office from the day after.

14 inspiring stories

14 professionals told why and how their organisations have taken the path of transformation:

See poster

ROLAND THOMANN
Swiss Solidarity

START WITH “WHY?”
Innovation needs an intrinsic driving force. In the humanitarian field, the why is the fact that humanity won’t meet the various challenges with traditional means. We launched an innovation fund to support Swiss NGOs to identify, develop and implement innovation within their projects. Read more

See poster

ANNE BICKEL
Swisscontact

ROLE BASED LEADERSHIP
We are becoming agile. In 6 different domains, we have defined specific roles with clear accountability, output and decision-making authority. Decisions are consulted in a circle. Translating the model to our daily work is not always easy as we still fall back into old habits. Read more

See poster

PATRICK STADLER
New Incentives

TESTING BEATS PLANNING
First, test whether your project and tools are well understood. Second, test whether your project and tools are used. Iterate where necessary. Be comfortable with testing low-quality and partial solutions. Read more

See poster

ALEJANDRO ORTEGA
Swiss Cancer League

CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST!
Digitalisation is not simply the introduction and use of new technologies. It requires adjustments in strategy, organisation, processes, competences, working methods and culture. It is about reducing fears and giving people the desire and time to learn. Read more

See poster

THOMAS IMBODEN
Swiss Red Cross

IT TAKES COURAGE BEYOND THE CONVENTIONAL
We needed to modernise data management, increase transparency and improve digital marketing products. A chief digital officer was hired to tackle these challenges. We have implemented new working processes. Read more

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ANTONIA DOES
Helvetas

DIGITAL DATA MANAGEMENT
Our data should be useful, and not end up in data cemeteries. We want to be more efficient and increase the availability, analysis and visualisation of data. Our country offices have proactively started to test digital tools for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning. Read more

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ERNESTO IZQUIERDO
ICRC

BUILDING COMMUNITIES
We had 3 objectives: work together better, connect HQ and the field, enhance peer to peer support. We moved from a centralised system to a networked organisation. We built 160 online and offline communities that help us transform the organisation and our projects by getting feedback from staff and partners. Read more

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JOSIAH KAPLAN
Save the Children

INNOVATION AND NOVEL APPROACHES
We launched a new Migration and Displacement Innovation Platform – an organisation-wide effort, bringing together a broad range of knowledge partners to collaboratively develop innovative tools, solutions, and know-how. Read more

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BARBARA BURRI
Solidar Suisse

PLANNING IN UNCERTAINTY
We cannot predict the future, but we are able to come up with multiple scenarios of the organisation’s future context. Our new strategy process is not based on one future but analyses different scenarios and the position we should
take in these various political, economic, social contexts. Read more

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MORRIS GYGER
Swisscom

INNOVATION BOX
During my apprenticeship at Swisscom, I asked why my training did not include modules in the field of innovation. This questioning led me to create entrepreneurship training for generations y/z: the Innovation Box. Read more

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THIERRY AGAGLIATE
Terre des Hommes

SYSTEMATIC INNOVATION MANAGEMENT
Innovation at TdH was driven by ideas from the field. To introduce an innovative mindset, we replaced formal training with awareness-raising sessions, internal thematic conferences on important technological developments, co-construction bootcamps using the design thinking approach… Read more

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MAYA SHAH
Médecins sans Frontières

SCALABILITY IS KEY
Innovation must be done in partnership to work and be scalable. The roles and responsibilities of the partnership must be clearly articulated right from the beginning, otherwise it will not be scalable. Read more

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FRANZ THIEL
Helvetas

SHARING CULTURE
We initiated an innovation award. Innovation is happening in different contexts and is the result of our sharing culture. People microblog on our intranet wall, we have TED-style talks, ‘share weeks’ for strategic dialogues and ‘share days’ for global discussions around emerging topics. Read more

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CHRISTOPH OCHSENBEIN
Brot für Alle

SHARED LEADERSHIP
The main purpose of our transformation to an agile organisation was to give employees back their ability to act and decide, thereby transforming leadership from an individual to a shared model. Today we guide staff by looking at jointly defined criteria of quality, not by giving them piecemeal tasks. Read more

See posters

ALL STORIES IN ONE

14 professionals tell why and how their organisations have taken the path of transformation. Read more

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Interviews and testimonials

  • Making innovation visible, Maya Shah, MsF
  • A fund to foster innovation, David Dandres, Swiss Solidarity
  • Innovation is a must for NGOs, Thierry Agagliate, TdH
  • What does innovation mean to you? We asked around...

Pictures of the day

by Matthias Käser