Our Emaar Sprint concluded in the fall with a host of initiatives presented to an eager and engaged executive team, leading to a continued partnership between OpenExO and Emaar.
The sprint ran between September 12, 2022, and November 29, 2022. It included three in-person sessions with the ExO team of coaches and various live or virtual workshops and meetings both with the ExO team and with external experts.
A total of 25 Emaar employees took part, supported by four mentors, part of Emaar's C-suite team. The participants came from a variety of business units across the organization, with diverse cultures and experiences. They had been carefully hand-picked to ensure teams had complementary skills and backgrounds.
The sprint was custom designed to match Emaar's unique profile of an innovative developer at the forefront of a burgeoning industry. It was tailored with a few key objectives in mind:
- Transforming Emaar's culture by training first-generation of change agents
- Elevating the company's exponential edge by adopting a set of strategic tools and methods and creating an environment conducive to innovation and disruptive thinking
- Outlining Emaar's specific trajectory for a 10x growth
- Crafting a series of disruptive business initiatives that have the potential to a) disrupt the organization's business and processes, b) showcase the exponential thinking and ideation process to the participants, c) serve as a benchmark for future projects
- Ensuring sustainable innovation efforts post-sprint and designing an exponential roadmap for the organization in the coming years
OpenExO determined that real estate and construction would experience some of the biggest transitions over the next decade as the world grapples with a population of 10 billion, 3 billion additional households joining the middle classes, rapid urbanization, remote work, and the rise of metaverses. This increased demand, combined with supply pressures such as the environmental footprint of our construction systems, requires a whole-scale revolution of how we build and use buildings.
This will require an end-to-end disruption from construction materials through to usage patterns. In order to pave the way to explore how to address these upcoming changes, OpenExO identified possible trends and accelerations in the environmental, social, and technological areas.
Armed with an initial set of innovation pathways, the ExO team conducted a series of pre-assessment interviews with the senior management to better understand Emaar’s culture and sentiments. The purpose of the conversations was to determine the innovation and change management readiness across the organization, the potential resistance factors, and the relevant tools to address those.
At the conclusion of these interviews, it was time for the Sprint to begin. For the Sprint, OpenExO followed the traditional 10-week format with the Awake & Align Workshops occurring in Week 0. But in addition to the traditional Sprint, OpenExO partnered with Oxford Leadership to ensure that leaders across the organization were in a position to support the innovation and change that the Sprint would inspire.
The Sprint repeatedly challenged participants and opened their minds to the true spectrum of possibilities involved with innovating with an exponential framework.
“There's been that shift in the group as well, I sense, that we're trying to think of it as if this is a startup that we are founding right now. How would we go about doing it? That's a very different lens to look at it from. There are so many tiny challenges that come in with actually trying to implement and execute a process or a plan. That's been [...] an eye-opener when you start thinking of what are the kinds of sources of finance, are customers going to pay for this, which iteration of this model will the customers actually be interested in and be willing to pay. Those are the kind of questions that have been pretty intellectually stimulating.”
After ten weeks of intense ideation and vigorous market validation, the teams were at the final stretch of the ExO Sprint. Tired but fulfilled, they were persistently pushing their ideas forward in excited anticipation of the Launch session. Week 10 marked the end of the formal sprint program for Emaar's innovators, but they knew it was only the first step on the exponential journey.
Members of Emaar's executive committee, the OpenExO team, and Salim Ismail attended the launch to witness the culmination of months of hard work on the participant's part. At the conclusion of the Launch session, the company reiterated their commitment both to moving viable initiatives forward and to spreading the ExO methodology throughout the entire organization.
Emaar and OpenExO are happy with the results of the Sprint and are excited to continue a successful partnership in the year 2023.
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