Challenge: dmgi, the international information business of the Daily Mail Group, had a problem. Actually, they had several problems and all of them were silos. The company had acquired a number of real estate information firms, but there was no system in place for cross-company collaboration, cooperative innovation, or leveraging communal assets. In fact, there was a tacit culture of not sharing across company lines.
Story: We gathered CEOs and employees of these companies together for a three-day Blitz in New York City.
One powerful asset the group uncovered was a vast network of data on commercial buildings. In a breakout Make Stuff session, one team wrestled with how to make this network valuable to consumers, landing on the idea that was a mash up of Zillow and OKCupid for commercial real estate.
Now they had to figure out if—and how—to bring it to life. Working with Mach49, our Silicon Valley incubator partner, dmgi deployed a team of eight to receive the training, coaching, and resources necessary to research and pressure test the concept.
Importantly, the team did not act as a new silo of renegades out on their own. They regularly reported back to their colleagues and CEOs to share their momentum (and keep the buy-in) with the larger group.
Result: Using Thing Wrong Practices in combination with the assets they already had, the team broke through silos to develop a business that had benefits across the parent company. They created a new commercial real estate search engine and rating service, including a mobile app, that would help users match their needs to the perfect commercial space.
In just three months, the group went from a collection of companies unsure of how they might work together to collaborating on a viable and exciting new enterprise called Spaceful. But more importantly, the team gained, and ingrained, the practice of collaboration across companies.