Case study

Ideation workshop: at L'Oréal, Vincent brings together 250 participants for remote brainstorming


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Vincent Arcin
Digital Transformation Director at L'Oréal

All businesses see an uptick in stress and workloads as Christmas approaches. Because for most brands, it remains the best sales period of the year, for some by very far.

In this critical time of the year, global cosmetics giant L’Oréal was looking for ways to promote its online sales to compensate for the sales lost to lockdowns around the world that kept customers from its shops. So the company decided to call a workshop to collect ideas from sales teams.

But how do you unearth great ideas from over 250 participants scattered right around the world? L’Oréal asked Vincent to solve the problem and hold the workshop. A fan of vinyl records, and of Klaxoon Board, Vincent knew immediately what to do. Still, the stakes were high for the company. He couldn’t afford to fail!

Creating a Board capable of activating and harnessing company-wide creativity and ideas

Vincent works at L’Oréal’s Digital Service Factory in Paris, France, where he and his team create new beauty services for the group’s 36 brands. Their aim is to offer new experiences to L’Oréal clients, things like AI-enabled skin diagnostics, virtual reality, livestreaming services, online consulting and many more.

With France’s second lockdown taking a heavy toll on stores in the run-up to Christmas, Management entrusted Vincent and his team with a new responsibility. He had to organize a special remote ideation workshop for Christmas that would give a big boost to innovation and online sales of all of the group’s brands. He was instructed to collect as many ideas as possible from all of L’Oréal’s teams worldwide, in particular from general and innovation managers.

Normally Vincent is up to any curve ball thrown at him. But this one was going to be particularly tough to nail. This is the situation he faced:

  • With participants scattered around the world, he had to find a way of getting them all to ideate together.
  • With the hackathon (renamed Xmas-thon for the occasion) having to take place only 5 days later, he had to break all sorts of records to get it done on time.
  • With the number of remote participants (+250 employees) far outnumbering any similar event ever held inhouse at L’Oréal, he had to find a tool capable of keeping things clear and simple in the midst of an almighty stream of ideas likely to be forthcoming from everywhere. 

Most managers would have been daunted. But not Vincent.

Why not? Because he knew Klaxoon. He and his team have been working in hybrid fashion from around the world (in particular the team’s data scientists in Toronto) with Klaxoon for many years, for example in their agile sessions with SpeedBoat retrospective, synchronisation in daily stand-up mode, projects using methods like 5W1H. So thanks to Klaxoon he knew perfectly well that he could handle the project.

Relaxed, listening to one of his favorite jazz vinyl records, he thought up an efficient, clear and simple Board that he knew would turn the remote hackathon into a roaring success.

Using the Crazy 8 and 5W1H templates, Vincent created a Board tailored to his and L’Oréal’s needs

It was thus Board by Klaxoon that enabled Vincent to create a user-friendly interface for the remote workshop with his truly global team.

Creating a Board

How did he do it? Simply with the traditional online Klaxoon whiteboard, to which he in a jiffy added all the templates he wanted.

Board comes with a very practical feature that allows you to install templates directly onto it, to personalize it. Vincent chose the Crazy 8 and 5W1H templates. But we’ll talk more about them a little further down.

Quickly and naturally Vincent created a clear and efficient Board, copied and sent it to all of the teams invited to participate in his workshop.

The design thinking workshop took place in two sessions of 2 and a half hours each, one in the morning for the first 150 participants, and the second in the afternoon, for the other 100.

Just like they do daily, the participants simply signed on to the ideation workshop through Microsoft Teams. In fact, Klaxoon Board has its own videoconferencing tool called Live, but at L’Oréal the teams are used to MS Teams. Which is no problem because thanks to the universal compatibility of Board with all videoconferencing tools, Teams and Klaxoon products work together seamlessly.

The workshop thus took place in a couple of get-togethers that allowed Vincent and his teams to collect the maximum number of ideas.

How do you conduct a remote Workshop?

The first stage of L’Oréal’s Workshop involved harvesting the biggest number of ideas in the shortest space of time, i.e. in exactly 8 minutes!

Using the Crazy 8 template to churn out great ideas 

With the pertinent and rapid exchange of information on the Crazy 8 template chosen by Vincent, L’Oréal’s teams succeeded in holding a highly efficient ideation workshop. The original template presents 8 subjects that participants work through in just 8 minutes – on the stopwatch! But to personalize and incorporate the template into his workshop, Vincent chose to change it into L’Oréal’s colors, adjust it to more typically L’Oréal work methods, and incorporate vocabulary used by the group. Such changes presented no problem, because Klaxoon templates have all been designed to be endlessly adjustable to users’ wishes.

At the end of the workshop, Vincent and his teams had collected a multitude of information and ideas. Having only one minute for each subject prompts participants to be creative and formulate their ideas fast, straight to the point. With the workshop scattered so far and wide and with so many participants, Crazy 8 helped Vincent save a great deal of time and up efficiency at the same time.

The workshop groups ended with no less than 700 unique ideas, many more than similar meetings at L’Oréal had ever achieved in the past.

A phase 2 of the workshop was then arranged to whittle down the 700 ideas to the 5 best ones, and then rank them from 1 to 5. 

Finetuning the ideas with the 5W1H template

To work on the short list, Vincent opted for Klaxoon’s 5W1H Template (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How).

The aim of this stage in the ideation workshop was to flesh out the 5 shortlisted ideas thanks to the template’s agile methodology.

This was done by means of a series of questions presented in blocks and connectors linking up the ideas. Each idea in turn was then further elaborated on. What resulted was an action plan and a more precise estimate of the tasks needed to assess the ideas’ workability in the overall framework of L’Oréal’s online sales project. The 5W1H template has been designed specifically to facilitate decision-making.

The last stage of Vincent’s creative thinking workshop involved all participants together choosing the best idea of the two groups’ Top 5 ideas. To do that, one member in each group created a Klaxoon question (i.e. What is the simplest and quickest way to ask a question and get an instant, automatic group answer?). This is a very practical way of getting the whole workshop to take a decision. The question was then subjected to a multichoice vote. Result? In just a few seconds, the question was drafted, put to the vote and the TOP 5 of each group’s ideas beamed to all participants around the world.

Next the participants selected the best of the 5 ideas, the one which would go on to grow L’Oréal’s online sales.

To facilitate joint implementation by all of L’Oréal’s teams throughout the world, Vincent shared with all exactly the same version of the workshop’s Board. The outcome was a more direct transmission of information than he had ever experienced.

What are the benefits of using Klaxoon Board for your ideation workshops?

Vincent was already won over by Klaxoon and its Board following years of using it each day for him and his team’s agile rituals.

Still, even he was baffled by the extraordinary efficiency of Board in handling such large-scale events, with over 250 participants volunteering 700 ideas in a single day at a workshop organized in only 5 days. An impressive achievement in L’Oréal’s book. So, according to Vincent, what are the main benefits offered by Klaxoon Board and its templates?

A dynamic whiteboard that is quick to set up

For him, the first quality of Klaxoon Board is that it’s so fast and user-friendly. In less than 5 days, he succeeded in organizing one of the biggest online hackathons ever held by L’Oréal.

He spent little time setting up Board for the workshop, yet there was no loss in the quantity and quality of the outcomes.

In just a few clicks he was able to integrate onto Board all of the tables and timers needed for a good ideation workshop. Moreover, personalizing the templates wasn’t hard or time-consuming either (because that’s what they’re designed to be: user-friendly, fast, productive).

In addition to the ease of setting up Board, the connection with participants at meetings and workshops was facilitated by integrated videoconferencing software, all compatible with Board by Klaxoon. You simply share a link, and all participants turn up on Board, immediately able to start working with information they find there.

Quick setting-up really is a function of Board’s user-friendliness. It’s so simple to use that Vincent now reaches audiences that he could never get in touch with using standard digital tools.

Even with teams spread around the world, onboarding times are very short, just a few minutes even for employees ‘allergic’ to computers and information technology.

Indeed, even ‘dummies’ are able to use Klaxoon. Everyone finds it easy to set up and get going. It invariably turns out a huge plus for teams in companies of all stripes, colors, sectors and industries.

A unique Board equally suited to meetings, workshops and project management

Secondly, Vincent says he really appreciates the fact that Klaxoon Board is so universal, versatile and multifunctional.

For example, in just a few days the Board he customized was used by teams all around the world to:

  • Hold a global ideation workshop,
  • Hold follow-up meetings to select the best ideas,
  • Draft tables which several months later are still used to manage the project. In fact, today the same Board continues to be used for all remote workshops at all L’Oréal branches around the world.
The Board remains in use at all our teams worldwide. It’s a tool everybody appreciates!

So at L’Oréal, Klaxoon Board has been put to use not only for one but for many needs, which is one of its greatest strengths. Once you’ve set it up, customized it to your needs and tastes, Board can be used everywhere and in all situations. Today it can serve as a visual aid to greatly raise productivity at your meetings and workshops. And tomorrow it will perfectly serve you as highly efficient project management tool also.

It’s a real all-in-one toolkit, with everything from videoconferencing software to hundreds of ready-to-use meeting models and workshops included. All designed to facilitate efficient visual teamwork, wherever you are!

Increased efficiency all-round

Vincent concludes that Klaxoon Board and its templates have raised productivity on all levels. For example:

  • Meetings are more productive, focus on core issues and don’t exceed the time limits allocated.
  • Meetings and workshops unleash collective intelligence and creative thinking.
  • Information flows more naturally thanks to Board’s large number of functions (polls, ideas, etc.) and thanks to participants far more spontaneously volunteering ideas.
  • Even with remote working at spots thousands of miles apart, hybrid teamwork has never been so easy and productive. For one, Vincent collected ideas from L’Oréal teams located in the Far East, those best positioned to know the needs of the Asian markets. For him, the results are: increased productivity, employees feeling part and parcel of the corporate strategy, and flatter management structures.
  • All such improvements, coupled with the intelligent integration into Board of a large number of agile methods in the end enabled far easier and better decision-making.

Like Vincent, why not put your trust in Klaxoon Board and its very numerous templates?

Thanks to Klaxoon, Vincent pulled off mission impossible. He organized one of the biggest workshops ever held at L’Oréal (a company where large meetings are run-of-the-mill). He says it would have been nigh impossible to achieve without Klaxoon.

Klaxoon Board simply is the best solution to make teams work together, hold brainstorming sessions and ignite the collective intelligence of companies of all sizes and in all projects across the Board (only by Klaxoon)!

You too can adopt Klaxoon!

With Templates, innovate in the management of your projects, represent them visually and move forward as a team in a synchronized manner

Crazy 8: a ready-to-use method template

Crazy 8: creative brainstorming and design sprints


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