The Electronic Retailing Association

Industry News C. & E. Europe: 1st Hackathon organised in Studio Moderna - designing a culture of Innovation

Studio Moderna's first internal hackathon included 8 top class teams competing on developing solutions for the company's developmental challenges.

by Katja Hleb

“Studio Moderna Group, the leading omnichannel, multi-brand and direct-to-consumer electronic retailer, employing more than 7500 people in 21 countries has Innovation in its core DNA, as it has been built on daring innovation from day one,” said one of our top executives, Mateja Dolanc, on the opening of the company Innovation room, located in the centre of the HQ main building.

“We have had the product tested, the market liked it on the spot and we developed a special procedure using which we sold it to an impeccable number of people, building the brand KOSMODISK and making it widely recognizable for every single citizen you could randomly stop on the street. “

That was 25 years ago and since then we have sold more than 5000 different products in 4 cross sectioned sales channels under more than 10 brands in 21 countries.

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Katja Hleb, MSc. Psych., u.d.psych., Prof. is Head of Learning and Development in the Studio Moderna Group.

Katja Hleb has a university and Masters degree in Psychology, a university degree in Kinesiology and is currently studying for her PhD in highly conscious '5D Organisations' and their successful practice. She has 20 years of experience in the field of executive search, selection and development and vast experience in advising (and actively participating in) designing and forming cutting edge human potential management strategies and practices. Her company operated in 8 CEE countries in several industries (pharmaceutical, finance, IT/TC, FMCG). Katja also lectures and has written more than 100 articles on Management and Entrepreneurship related media. Detailed study of successful highly conscious 5D organisations cases, combined with in-depth understanding of human nature, allows her to design and lead real world projects which combine neat theoretical design with successful everyday experience and practice within the organisation.

Creating the Culture of Innovation

Today we are on our next milestone, adding services to the products. In order to do so, we have entered into a partnership with the state of Slovenia for the second time, through the project named Competence Centre for Design Management. Since we were one of the top partners in the so-called KCDM 1.0, we were among the first to be invited into KCDM 2.0 and decided it would cover the implementation of one of the core strategies of Studio Moderna - creating the Culture of Innovation.

400+ employees at HQ were invited to participate in the 3-fold process of establishing, growing and maintaining the Innovation culture and mindset in the whole company. We learned The Bono thinking techniques, have organised an Innovation week packed with first class speakers, events and workshops, including a jazz band presenting the Artful Making, a technique implemented in many Fortune 500 companies that combines the principles of Art with the logic of business for a synergic, beautiful and sustainable result.

The first internal Studio Moderna Hackathon

We finished the week with our first Internal SM hackathon having 8 top class teams compete on developing solutions for previously precisely defined developmental challenges the company wanted to address. 5 teams won the ticket to Innovation Lab, the 6 months in-house “innovation production line” where the participants will learn theoretically and practically how to design first class, consumer friendly, desirable solutions for the benefit of all involved parties. 

We are hosting Stanford and Bled School of Management professors to teach the crew, Impro league and Artful Making workshops, some standards like finance and feasibility for the younger members, pitching and business model canvas performance regime workshops, meet up with some leaders in other industries for experience exchange and allow the Lab participants working time and space where they can develop their ideas with the full help of sponsors, mentors and coordinators.

In 6 months time, not only do we expect a few feasible solutions for the business, but also a big shift in mindset, consciousness and approach to innovation from the Lab participants, with the intention of it being spread to the company as a whole, acting as a new model of how “to be” in Studio Moderna.

All parties will benefit. The company enjoys a fast track to great innovative solutions, employees get an exciting place to work, the community will get an even healthier and longer lasting enterprise and the customers will get contemporary and well designed tailor-made solutions serving their current and future needs.