Approach. This has been an ambitious plan, but one that is feasible and, most importantly, necessary to remain ahead of our competitors and keep our innovative edge. While usually only the ideas from the few were widely promoted, now through the use of this internal social network at CEMEX anyone can upload their ideas in a new work model where the creative energy of large numbers of people is coordinated into large meaningful projects, regardless of the position the person who posts the idea has in the organization chart.

Implementation. Shift not only represents new collaboration practices at CEMEX, but also a brand new concept to generate innovation. Those who have adopted the tool are now finding out how useful all the available functionalities are to foster real-time interaction, knowledge management, progress tracking, and much more to make teams work seamlessly. Teams have Discussion Forums and wikis to gather data and find solutions to their particular problems, while leveraging the knowledge of the whole network. They also have access to idea jam exercises to post ideas, vote for the best ones, rank, and prioritize them for implementation.  All of these tools put the power in the base of the company, and encourage everyone to participate in innovation.

Main Results. A large number of new ideas are now having exposure and transparency in Shift. Ideas not only come from top management but from employees at every organizational level. Positive feedback is received to find areas of opportunity, as well as negative feedback to find ways to improve the collaboration among employees. Since Shift’s launch, a few idea jam sessions have taken place where hundreds of employees have posted their proposals for consideration. At the same time, a series of Global Innovation Initiatives, teams that seek new ways to reach global strategic goals, were established. The progress of these initiatives has been closely followed up by all Shift users, as they are setting the pace for innovation through collaboration. Their value lies not only in the new solutions they may find to their challenges, but also in proving the value of collaboration through Shift.

Testimonials. Ana Filipa Santos saw the importance nanotechnology as a topic for discussion at CEMEX, however few people were involved in the conversation, and a lot of important information was not being consumed. Through Shift she created her own community where people are joining, commenting on blogs and opening discussion forums to help create content or to learn about the subject.

“Shift connects people with shared interests; it promotes interaction between colleagues and professional development among those working around a same matter. Because of Shift, I now interact on a daily basis with people I wouldn’t be able to interact with otherwise. We share ideas and thoughts. Basically, Shift is a great tool!”
Ana Filipa Santos, Materials Technology Analyst