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Great ideas by working together

Employees pitch their ideas for 'Eska in 10 years'

1 November 2017

“Everyone felt free to share their ideas. And that's a big compliment.” CEO Rienk Jan van der Kooi is proud of his colleagues, who shared their ideas during the finals of the project ‘Eska in 10 years’.

The winning team Just Eska
The winning team Just Eska

The project started six months ago in collaboration with Q-Consult Progress Partners. Its purpose was to encourage employees to think about the future of Eska. The four teams, consisting of 5 or 6 employees from different departments and of different ages, presented their ideas for the future to a jury, their colleagues and business relations. The jury consisted of Gerrit Jan Koopman (the Royal Netherlands’ Paper and Board Association (VNP)), Denisa Kasová (Noordelijke Innovation Board), Harry van de Kraats (general employers’ association AWVN).

Innovation agenda

The teams' ideas were highly varied, and included bacterial fiber production, smart packaging, using Google Glass and holacracy. The contestants stood to win awards in 4 different categories and there was an overall prize for the best team. “But the real winner here is Eska”, said the event host, Olaf van den Berg. CEO Van der Kooi felt the same way. “Now we have a starting point and the energy we need to create an innovation agenda. We’re going to consider which ideas are feasible. And the best thing about it is that our competitors don't do anything like this.”

Working together

The winner of the overall prize was team Just Eska. “Collaborating with colleagues from other departments was one of the best aspects of this project”, said team captain Gea Voort. Who would have thought that the best ideas would be produced if you put (for instance) a sales manager, an automation engineer, a warehouse employee, a customer service representative and a scheduler together in a room. It was a proud day for Eska.

In the media

Journalist Bouke Nielsen was at the finals of ‘Eska in 10 years’ and wrote the following piece for the regional newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch): Download the article.