KPN’S LIAISON MANAGEMENT TEAM STRIVES FOR INNOVATION - How a small team of primarily interns is making an impact in a large company
Vries, Vincent de
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“We love innovations, we love scale-ups”: Liaison Management Team. KPN is market leader in the field of internet and telephony and have become so big by continuing to innovate the latest developments. Within the strategic plan of KPN they have included that they keep the focus on innovation through KPN ventures and the Liaison Management Team (LMT). Through partnerships with disruptive start-ups and scale-ups, KPN can stay ahead of the competition and continue to make an impact in a changing society. This report will shed insight how KPN and the LMT is functioning as a business, analyses what the biggest bottlenecks are regarding innovation, proposes and argues those solutions and gives some recommendations. As an intern within the LMT, I am responsible for identifying opportunities to innovate, suggesting start-ups that could help with this, following up on the follow-up steps and ensuring that all involved stay up-to-date. To this end, the various departments, here referred to as hunting grounds (HGs), are divided among the various working interns within the LMT. Through collaboration with the business owner (BO), the person responsible for innovation within the HG, we arrive at possible connection points for the LMT during discussions. It is important for the survival of this team that the LMT continues to make an impact in the form of new innovations through collaborations with start-ups. Recently, the number of interns working has become somewhat fewer resulting in less impact being made. This report examines where the most gains can be made now that will allow the LMT to make even more impact. First of all, the problem was further explained by means of the five whys method. This led to hypotheses that were tested by means of a questionnaire to the BO’s we spoke to. In addition, a previously used questionnaire from last year was also used. Based on the results of both surveys, the problems were identified. From this, the following problems emerged that the LMT could benefit for when solved: First of all, the LMT needs to be seen more as a (real) part of KPN. Due to the image of the interns and not always providing the right connecting parties, not everyone takes the LMT seriously enough. This is also evident in that BO’s see the LMT primarily as fun inspiration and a way to have more time for other tasks. In the recommendation section some ideas and solutions are proposed that will result in a more professional team like consisting of more permanent employees. Secondly, the LMT needs to make sure that they know more about what is going on with the HG and BO and vice versa that the BO also knows how things are going at the LMT. For an intern it takes lots of time to get a feeling of how the business is really run. By having a list with all the platforms and products that are in place with additional information would definitely help the LMT in finding opportunities. Transparency is also an important part of innovation and is extensively explained.