In June 2018, ENGIE launched an online discussion open to all employees of the group: Imagine 2030. In addition to the platform, each manager could to organize face-to-face meetings with his teams, and each employee could interview a client to bring the debate to life. From June to October 2018, the Imagine 2030 initiative brought together 15,500 online participants in more than 70 countries, generating nearly 30,000 contributions on the digital platform Assembl, in 14 languages. This unprecedented approach for the group has made it possible to involve ENGIE’s 150,000 employees in the construction of the Group’s vision and strategy, to embody the “Purpose Company” of tomorrow.
Ambitions of the “Imagine 2030” approach
“Imagine 2030 is a collective investment for our future and the future of the world. Let us build a future that brings us together.” ISABELLE KOCHER
For ENGIE, embodying this purpose, as Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer of the Group explains in an article on Linkedin, means choosing long-term value creation, being at the forefront of the energy transition, but above all, making the choice to pursue an innovative and ambitious corporate social responsibility policy.
The IMAGINE 2030 consultation is part of this mission, led by Isabelle Kocher. The main objective was to feed the Group’s strategy by creating a strategic conversation for 150,000 people, in France and abroad, across all Group entities.
The management therefore has the will to create debate, to allow everyone to react, to exchange, to confront their ideas, their opinions, their convictions. Thanks to a rich conversation, a lively debate on concrete subjects constituting the challenges of tomorrow, the enriched vision of ENGIE must emerge.
The Group is thus reinventing the way it builds its strategy.
A particularly open and collaborative practice, based on the involvement of management and employees, who propose their vision of the future and solutions to make it possible. They discuss the future challenges of the world in 2030 and of the Group, putting collective intelligence into action with Business Unit directors and Ambassadors in all business lines and countries.
The conduct of the consultation “Imagine 2030”
Imagine 2030 was carried out in three stages.
The first, that lasted four months, aimed to reflect on a common vision of the world and to determine the vocation of the Group in 2030. For this, employees were invited to project themselves into the future and question the trends that will make the future of our daily lives, of our ways of working and of our planet.
This open conversation made the debate possible, with real exchanges and argumentation. Creativity and imagination have been particularly solicited in order to write a desirable future. Part of the consultation was thus dedicated to writing utopian short stories: what would be our day-to-day life in 2030? 600 short stories were published, generating a sharing of constructive ideas and pushing the imagination and projection further than classical reflection.
More than 9,000 messages were shared during this phase, providing an accurate picture of 100 trends that will make the world in 2030. These trends are perceived by the Group’s employees as the foundation the desired world they envision. Among the trends identified: collaborative consumption, new payment methods or new working methods open on the company’s ecosystem.
At the same time, employees were also invited to open up and meet external stakeholders by interviewing them and relaying their comments in the platform. This second step, like a mirror to the projection of the collaborators in 2030, consisted in interviewing suppliers, customers and other partners, so that they would share their vision of the world in 2030 as well, this time in direct connection with their activities and industries. 2,500 interviews were conducted, providing an in-depth look at the trends uncovered and their business impacts.
From these complementary visions of future trends, four major challenges have emerged to achieve this 2030 vision and meet the expectations of employees. The latter were therefore invited to propose concrete solutions to meet these challenges.
More than 2,000 messages were shared in 2 weeks, covering nearly 5,000 concrete solutions proposed in this last step. A very wide diversity of ideas that has made it possible to cover the entire value chain and diversification challenges of the Group, with a complex and precise vision of what employees want to implement today to ensure the group’s durability.
What Solène, a member of the ENGIE project team, remembers is “the quality of the debate: the answers were not really at the individual level, but rather at a global level, the answers were concrete, long and thoughtful“.
Imagine 2030 has generated an exceptional mobilization within the Group.
“Imagine 2030”, the final review
“Employees and stakeholders set the tone: neither catastrophist nor idealistic, but resolutely positive. Far from suffering the future, they consider concrete ways to make it desirable. Beyond the ideas that emerged, the consultation taught us a lot about the wishes and fears of the participants. To observe that employees are massively questioning the impact of a trend makes it decisive in our eyes”.
Gilles Bourgain, Strategy Deputy Director et sponsor of the project
The Imagine 2030 consultation, with 150,000 employees solicited, more than 15,500 participants, 30,000 contributions in 14 languages in more than 70 countries, is among the most massive corporate consultations to date.
More than 100 trends were identified, with 200 concrete and distinct ideas… the results exceeded expectations and revealed the value of massive collective intelligence in a large international group.
For ENGIE, the first strength of Imagine 2030 is first and foremost the transformation into a Purpose Company.
Initiate a new dynamic in building the Group’s strategy, by being nourished by the collective reflections of employees around the world, by changing the way in which the Group anticipates its orientations, and by using the collective as a factor of legitimacy and trust in the development of major projects. This is a first for ENGIE, which corresponds to its ambition to embody the Purpose Company. It is also a way of reinventing the strategic exercise, which then naturally moves into an exercise of collective transformation.
On LinkedIn on 15 January 2019, Isabelle Kocher, Executive Director of Engie, said she has been “thoroughly impressed by all of your thoughts and ideas, which are full of enthusiasm, optimism and authenticity.”
For Nicolas Rolland, director of Engie University and sponsor of the initiative, “our corporate culture is opening up and transforming! We must continue to give our employees the opportunity to express their views on these future challenges. The strong representation of societal trends shows that our employees are looking for meaning. ENGIE therefore has a role to play in meeting their expectations in terms of working methods and ethics of digital tools or artificial intelligence, etc.”
Manoella, a participant in the process, confirms: “Imagine 2030 presented itself as a great opportunity to be part of the creation of the Group’s vision for 2030. A chance to be listened to in an open, democratic and accessible way, thus strengthening the sense of belonging, wherever we are, whatever our profession.”
Beyond the incarnation of the Purpose Company, the Imagine 2030 consultation revealed a strong internal culture and a unifying commitment, in line with the Imaginative Builders. This community brings together those who want to take powerful collective action to empower everyone. The ability of employees to project themselves into the world by 2030, outside their primary activity, demonstrates an ability to detach themselves from their daily lives in order to go further and think more globally. This openness, this in-depth reflection outside their comfort zone has made it possible to demonstrate the reality of a very positive, constructive and confident state of mind towards the future.
Brian, a participant in Great Britain, shares his conviction about the transformation that the Imagine 2030 approach has brought to the Group:
“Transforming ourselves internally to be the organization we want to be in 2030: inclusive, committed, collaborative, sharing knowledge and expertise to really make what we do today (harnessing the collective intelligence of the organization) our normal way of doing business”.