Innovation at Alfa
Innovation is key to what we do at Alfa, and is baked into our day-to-day. In addition to our annual Hackathon and regular innovation events, everyone benefits from their own innovation budget to kick-start their ideas, and lasting support to take them forwards.
Before you make innovation happen, you have to make it possible. This means putting in a framework that makes people feel comfortable to innovate, and making it clear that innovation is something you want and need in your business. If you provide a democratic, inclusive environment and invite a group of motivated people to go and get on with it, then you see the best bottom-up ideas and the biggest chance of success.
Andrew Denton, CEO
While innovation can take place at any time, Alfa staff enjoy regular innovation events throughout the year. These events represent an exciting opportunity for everyone to innovate together; for all of us to take a step back from our work and get involved in new ideas, initiatives and opportunities at Alfa. To scratch that itch, learn something new, or try out that idea.
You’ll work with colleagues from around the globe, on anything you feel is worthwhile - technical or non-technical. From integrating novel IoT devices with our enterprise application, to revolutionising the way we interact with our clients and define their business needs, to building a notification widget to let everyone know when the free coffee bar is closing. It’s all up to you.
And if the ideas aren’t there yet, you can join one of our brainstorming exercises, discussing and working on exciting problems posed by key areas of the business.
At the end of the day, everyone gets together for pizza, drinks and discussion.
Hackathons are the original core of the innovation culture at Alfa, and while innovation is now baked into every part of Alfa, these are still highly popular events.
Held annually in the UK and US at off-site locations, our Hackathons see staff hack in teams over two days - some through the night - on projects of their choosing. Then, if they want to, they can demo their projects to the rest of the company in a bid to win prizes.
See how our 2019 UK Hackathon played out, below.
The Alfa Innovation Process
The Alfa Innovation process is our take on Lean Innovation, an established approach to innovation within a company or industry, and is the way for our employees to take their innovation ideas forward in a funded and supported way, for eventual adoption by the company.
After using your personal innovation budget or a series of innovation events to tee up your initial idea, you’ll engage with one of our team of innovation coaches, who will help you structure how to take your idea forward, breaking your idea down into a series of testable hypotheses and milestones, with review points along the way. They'll help you arrange the time and resources you need to do so, before finally helping you find the home for your completed idea in Alfa.