Leroy Merlin and collaborative intrapreneurship

Written by Hugo Chatel, on 09 April 2018

The 9,000 employees of Leroy Merlin's Brazilian subsidiary are full of innovative ideas... but too few of them come to fruition! How to bring to life the ideas of these nearly 9,000 employees?

Intrapreneurship within Leroy Merlin's Brazilian subsidiary is managed through a platform: Innova.

On this platform, any employee can propose their ideas, whether they are product ideas for customers or solutions for internal services. Leaders can sponsor the ideas they want by allocating the necessary resources, both financial and human, for their development. The employee can then choose to remain involved in the development of their idea.

"It's not about whether you have an idea. It's about how you can bring it to life." - Scott Belski, co-founder of Behance

That's how Hildegarde* implemented a new practice for shooting tutorial videos for Leroy Merlin products. In charge of multichannel sales, she one day realizes that the communication agencies that help Leroy Merlin shoot these tutorials are expensive and prolong production times. "What if our employees shot their own tutorials, right in the store?" She posts her idea on Innova, and a marketing leader quickly sponsors it. Together, they set up a pilot project and recruit a volunteer team. After a short training on video recording, they start shooting the tutorials in their stores, using their phones.

*The name has been changed and chosen by the Humanage team, always on the lookout for trendy names.

And it's a success! Not only are expenses greatly reduced, but most importantly, employees are delighted to be responsible for these videos. They also feel they gain credibility by showing how to use their own products.

Hildegarde's story is not unique: the platform now contains over 2,000 project proposals going in all directions: revolutionizing the employee experience, reducing production costs, developing new products... For example, employees have developed through Innova an online platform for learning new languages, a carpooling platform among colleagues, and a drill capable of measuring cable lengths.

But that's not all! A public version of the Innova platform is now open to Leroy Merlin's customers. So now, customers can also propose their own ideas to the store and vote for their favorite ideas. Those that receive the most votes are considered by the company, and a financial reward is given for those that are ultimately selected.