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Fostering Innovation in Argentina: a masterclass in innovation through reinvention

Project presented by Florencia Chiesa, Silvia Dominguez, Sebastian Estrada, and Francisco Ron

In Argentina, TotalEnergies is busy supporting its staff’s creative flair by rolling out an adapted organizational structure that facilitates initiative-taking and creates a professional framework in which innovation can blossom, all in a bid to boost their capacity to meet the challenges of business transformation in a highly competitive local context.

Best Innovators 2021 - FOSTERING INNOVATION IN TOTAL ARGENTINA -  Exploration & Production – TotalEnergies

Putting collective intelligence to work

Innovation can’t be made to order: it’s something you spark and structure, with skills, commitment and engagement its lifeforce. In light of a need to find new drivers for growth, the TotalEnergies teams in Argentina decided to launch an original, ambitious program aimed at supporting and stimulating innovation in all staff members throughout the Company and across the country. Four key priorities were put center stage: it needed to be structured, contemporary, widespread, and inspiring. The philosophy at the heart of the initiative? To turn innovation into a professional, visible asset accessible to all, powered by a positive, pro-active approach.

Overhauling the organizational structure

The first goal for the initiative in Argentina was to bring staff together around a shared dynamic and an innovation development coordinated working plan in step with the Company’s overarching strategy. Setting up a dedicated unit helped this approach take root: a steering committee is now in charge of setting out the roadmap and serving as an interface, a management committee is responsible for pinpointing direction, and a wide network is tasked with spreading this new mindset. 

  • In 2020, the first stage involved setting up a general organizational structure in Argentina. Backed by DigInno, a digital innovation network, this step first allowed staff to begin implementing a roadmap focused on open, internal innovation at TotalEnergies.
  • Various events took place alongside this and in step with Company events, such as a local Innovathon centered on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a local digital version of the Best Innovators competition. 

The shift towards open innovation

In 2021, this initiative continued along three lines: developing a virtual innovation-boosting tool, a day dedicated to innovation and new ways of working such as design thinking, and developing open innovation. Indeed, TotalEnergies nurtures a culture of innovation based on an open ecosystem connected to operational needs, in partnership with research bodies, universities, and start-ups. In 2022, an innovation catalyst will even be set up on our premises.

A new frame of mind leading us off the beaten path

This new dedicated, multi-disciplinary organizational structure covers the entire innovation chain, and is already yielding results: 

  • Innovation is now integrated and structured, supported by 40 DigInno ambassadors, with a number of ultra-efficient methods and tools rolled out.
  • The process provides a platform to boost initiatives’ visibility and spark curiosity.
  • All staff have access to the innovation schemes.
  • And the number and quality of innovations we’re seeing is on the rise. The Innovathon collated a total of 117 fresh ideas for achieving carbon neutrality in Argentina’s TotalEnergies activities. The suggested solutions included three that have now been incorporated into our GHG roadmap, with a combined impact of over 5 kt/year.
  • Over and above this, the project is contributing to fostering a bottom-up approach. It boosts initiative-taking, heightens a sense of belonging and open-mindedness, paves the way for new discussions and themes, and ushers in the mindset we need to bolster performance.

The project team