Innovation at Bosch
Driving Cultural Change in Toluca, Mexico
Bosch Named “Best Workplaces for Innovators”
Innovation is part of Bosch’s DNA and encouraged at every level of the company. Every associate at Bosch, no matter their role or location, has ample opportunities on a regular basis to participate in any number of Bosch innovation programs. These innovation programs have been created and implemented to encourage associates from every area of the company to share new ideas or ways we can repurpose existing technologies to solve real-world problems and quickly validate those ideas through a lean start-up methodology.
Driving Cultural Change
Cultural change is a complex and difficult undertaking. Company culture is an ingrained component of any business— it’s built into the foundations of every organization and it influences the behaviors of employees at every level. It takes consistency, patience, commitment, time and the use of innovative tools to successfully achieve cultural change.
Driving Cultural Change, a global initiative from the Electrical Drives division, strives to develop a culture that is both a great place to work and realizes business success. Three core values form the foundation of the Driving Cultural Change initiative:
1. Empathy: Putting yourself in the shoes of others
2. Passion: Contributing to make the world a little better
3. Entrepreneurship: Promoting employee autonomy, ownership and accountability
Associates at the plant in Toluca, Mexico take the Driving Cultural Change initiative to heart. “We deem it our responsibility to create the environment we feel will make our plant a great place to work. The initiative provides a forum for networking, innovation, entrepreneurship and friendship. It also provides an open opportunity to solve challenges as a team, finding new ways to tackle them together.”
With a desire to contribute to core values of the Driving Cultural Change initiative and to run innovation projects in all Electrical Drives locations, , Marketing Manager, enlisted the help of , Innovation Manager, , Bosch Consultant, and , Business Development Director, to adapt and run the Innovation Framework for teams in Toluca, Mexico. The innovation framework provides a curriculum combining lean start-up and design thinking to explore business opportunities outside of Bosch core business.
Twenty-four participants from different departments presented project proposals to consider customer desirability, business viability and product feasibility. Supporting Elizabeth, Estella, Jim and Jodi in facilitating the ideation sessions, , International Assignments HR Manager, Mario Esau Contreras Guadarrama, Manufacturing Manager, and , Senior HR Partner, helped select the most promising projects and organize 4 cross-functional teams of 6 associates with genuine interest to further develop solutions for these ideas.
The four project teams were provided a mentor or coach to help refine their business models and project viability, and were provided a space to meet and network weekly. Bi-monthly, teams presented their results to executive management for continuous feedback.
Within the Driving Cultural Change initiative, the plant in Toluca, Mexico strived to create both a physical and emotional environment favorable for innovation. To provide a workplace with inspiring working conditions, , Facilities Manager, created comfortable and creative office spaces to provide a nice environment for her colleagues. “Inspiring working conditions can awaken a sense of ownership and improved productivity.” To view the office space, .
Not only was the physical environment inspiring, management gave associates the freedom and confidence to propose, promote, test, implement new ideas and initiatives, and even to accept failure as part of the process. Further, management provided the guidance and sponsorship required to progress ideas.
Meet the Core Team
Mario Esau Contreras Guadarrama, Engineering Sample Manufacturing Manager, joined Bosch after completing an internship where he enjoyed the culture, friends, international spirit and challenging work. Mario has now been with Bosch 12+ years, holding roles in all areas of manufacturing. A father of two children, Mario enjoys reading, running and playing basketball.
“Innovation is a mindset, not a process. It’s a long term movement based on the need for shared goals and acceptance and promotion of diversity of idea and skills. For this reason, leading by example is the only way the approach can be sustainably deployed. I must build the trust with my team and coworkers to face current and future challenges as a united front, allowing us the space to experiment, change, and innovation based on business need.”
“Collaboration has many benefits, including synergy, larger impact, and designing ideas with different points of view.”
Avid learner of anything new, , Marketing Manager, joined Bosch in 2016. Serving in different roles within sales, product management, business development and marketing, Jim always held Bosch in high regard as our company values resonated with his personal values. With a passion for innovation, Jim strives to create an entrepreneurial culture.
“Failure is an option. Any initiative is worth it even if there is 5% chance to make an idea a viable business. You will learn so much about yourself and others through that journey. It will develop your entrepreneurial spirit and resilience.”