Just like every other carmaker, back in 2008, BMW was going through a bumpy ride. With the global financial crisis, the German company saw its sales drop significantly – according to the Financial Times they had a “90 per cent drop in profits year-on-year in 2008”. The overall mind-set of the younger population was also changing. People became more environmentally conscious and chose other types of transportations instead of covering the expenses of owning a car. The future was happening and it looked like BMW was being left behind. And this is something that other big companies will find familiar. It’s like your industry is moving forward but somehow you’re dragging behind. Startups are coming up with new technologies and new business models, and you’re stuck with your core product that will most likely be obsolete in the next decade if you just stand still. For BMW, it was clearly time to roll up their sleeves and gear up. BMW turned the tables and was able to maintain its position as a leading player in the industry, by boosting innovation and creativity. How to kick-off the new strategy To kick-off this mind-set shift, BMW started something called “Project i”. A special unit to develop new ideas on mobility, and its sustainability. Their goal was to reduce the environmental impact, and solve the mobility challenges of those who live in big cities. They spoke with several experts on these issues to understand how transport would evolve, and which products BMW could build to keep holding its position as a leading player in the industry. “Project i” turned into “BMW i”, a sub-brand of the company, which led the efforts of developing lightweight eco-friendly urban electric car concepts, including what we now know as the i3 and i8 electric cars. They also launched BMW i Ventures, so that they could make strategic investments in innovative solutions with the same focus of BMW i. At Beta-i, we’ll actually learn more about BMW i Ventures, as we’ll have Sohaila Ouffata, investment principal of BMW i Ventures, as a speaker at the Lisbon Investment Summit. Another thing BMW did was that they established relevant partnerships to think of new business models. One of those partnerships was with Sixt, a car rental company, to create something called DriveNow, a premium car-sharing service that started in Munich and quickly expanded into other European cities. In September 2015 DriveNow was operating over 4,000 vehicles in five countries worldwide and with over 500,000 customers. The Independent Institute of Education 2017 Almeida. M. 2017. BMW’s creativity and Innovation Strategy. [Online] Available at: http://rethink.betai.pt/2017/03/29/corporate-innovation-company-can-learn-bmws-innovation-strategy/ [Accessed 07 September 2017]
Write the report in which you fully discuss the innovation strategy and innovation process that BMW followed to get themselves back in the game again. In your report the following topics needs to be covered. Provide evidence from the case study to support the discussion. Explain the layout/ mapping process of the creativity and innovation strategy that BMW implemented;
Discuss the process BMW followed in implementing this strategy.
Discuss the importance of effectively managing a creativity and innovation strategy within a modern organisation such as BMW.
Describe the potential gaps for BMW if the innovation process is not linked to the overall organisational model.
Provide suggestions on best practices that other companies can learn from BMW.