03 Apr 2020

Xavier Marcet at the Innovators Club of Girbau LAB

The president of Lead To Change and member of the advisory team of Girbau LAB, Xavier Marcet, was the first invited speaker in online format at the Innovators Club of Girbau LAB, on April 3.

He has talked about the current context, business and innovation. We highlight some key ideas of his exhibition:

-It is necessary to remind everyone that the Covid-19 poses a conjunctural emergency, whereas the climatic change and the sustainability continue being structural emergencies.

-At the moment, we are living a fuss in many ways and with great uncertainty about how much will last: companies have to think about people, treasury and customers.

-These days we are also seeing that there are other ways to innovate, both to face the challenges, and to devise and conceptualize the solutions.

-Especially now, it is necessary to be agile to face new challenges: agility is a necessity to make opportunities a reality

-Collectively it is also a good time to unlearn, because the context generates new opportunities and must be attentive and always have a notebook nearby.

-Among others, we are learning to work and communicate in a different way, and we have learnt that to telework it means to work.

Beyond the online session, we have had the opportunity to speak more deeply. In this interview, Xavier Marcet speaks about talent and innovation. Talented people adapt to changing changes and organizations. Innovation in the industrial sector is applied with parameters to customer and less to end consumer. Disruption in the laundry industry comes to incorporate services around the product. For Marcet, when washing clothes in 2050 possibly the revolution in the textile materials will have been installed.

What does talent management mean today?

It involves encouraging people’s commitment to adapting. People professionally are a sum of three things: knowledge, professional and social skills and attitudes. Knowledge isn’t just about having university degrees. It’s about knowing how to adapt our personal equation of those three things to a changing world. Talented people adapt. Non-talented people have resigned from adapting. It is clear that companies have to encourage people to adapt and it is clear that they do not have to demotivate all those who are committed to adapting.

Is there any concrete feature for innovative talent in the industrial sector?

Yes, that normally when we talk about industry we don’t talk about an exclusively digital world. We talk about physical things like making industrial washing machines. This fact is no less. It means that industrial innovation does not grow as rapidly as digital innovations exclusively. The way you prototype and how innovations are scaled to market is also different. Finally, most industrial companies are B2B, they do not come to an end consumer, but to a customer. This is often an important factor because when we make innovation in the industry we have to think about both end consumer and customer.

What is innovation for you?

First, create value for our customers with new solutions that respond to needs that customers still can’t express. Innovation is what we’ll sell in the future. If innovation doesn’t consist of products and services that people have to buy from us, I’m not interested because it doesn’t add value. Secondly, there are also those innovations that can allow us to be more efficient in the company’s operational processes and in the way we manage. In the end, everything ends up landing on customer and competitiveness.

What is the value of open innovation today?

A total value because it’s pure common sense. We need to draw on external talent and other people’s experiences to inspire us and build our own opportunities. Open innovation is not that anyone comes to tell us how we have to do things. It’s an opportunity to learn from others and make our own. It is also an opportunity to innovate in collaboration with others. We don’t know everything. Normally those who know everything end up in mediocrity.

What is the most effective way to develop innovation in a company?

Making it part of the way to manage the whole company. Let it not just be an issue of innovation leadership but the whole people in the company. And we laso have to incorporate it into our corporate culture. Innovating is a collective learning to create value for the future. And this learning leads to a way to grow the company and grow people as well.

What disruptive innovations can be expected for the laundry industry in the next 5 years?

All we imagine around making things easier, cheaper and more efficient to our customers. Also those innovations in which we bring them value, that is, that at the same time that we wash, bend or iron the clothes bring some associated value. Some addition or some non-obvious connection. And finally everything that has to do with sustainability and the fight against climate change.

How will we wash our clothes on 2050?

I don’t know. If I knew, Girbau would know by now. I don’t know if we’re going to wash, but I know we’re going to need clean clothes. I suspect the revolution in textile materials can affect us a lot. But if we’re attentive and focused on customers, we don’t have to be scared. We are in a world full of opportunities and Girbau will know how to take advantage of them. We have to be confident. A trajectory like Girbau’s doesn’t have to accommodate us, but it has to give us confidence.