Emmanuelle Colin, Wanting Change - Corporate Entrepreneurship 'Makers Bridge'

29 JUNE 2020


After spending the first part of her career in teaching and the second in digital marketingEmmanuelle Collin wanted to turn to innovation and collective intelligence for the third part of her professional life. An interview with an inspiring intrapreneur, for whom teams are central to the progress of projects.

Emmanuelle Collin is a master at the art of career change. Throughout her professional career, she has always been able to bounce back and turn towards new horizons. Guided by the desire to learn and a passion for discovery, she started out as a teacher of French as a foreign language in Serbia and then in France. After moving to Clermont-Ferrand, she turned to digital. “It was in the early 2000s. I became an internet project manager, then production director in an IT services company. I then joined one of our clients, the Auvergne regional tourist board (Comité Régional du Tourisme d’Auvergne - CRT) as digital and communication manager, and then marketing director”, explains Emmanuelle Collin.

She worked in this position for about ten years until the regions merged. Auvergne became Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Emmanuelle Collin took charge of the development of foreign and long-distance customers. “With the expansion of the region, I felt too far away from the field and the customers. I wanted to go back to a more operational position where I could really see the impact of what I did. After 12 years, I needed to take a step back and give my career a new lease of life,” explains Emmanuelle Collin.


The encounter with emlyon business school

She then went back into education. She chose the fast-track format of the emlyon business school Executive MBA. “After I decided to leave CRT, I was looking for an intensive course to make a quick career change. I also chose a business school to get a global vision of business management and to reinforce my skills in the areas of finance, commerce and business development. I wanted to give a more business-like tone to my profile, which is sometimes considered too institutional,” says Emmanuelle Collin.

Right from the start of the course, she appreciated the diversity of participants’ profiles. She immediately felt at home. “I came from an institutional background and I was afraid that I wouldn’t feel I belonged in a business school. Very quickly, I saw that I had things in common with those taking part in the course. We had the same values and expectations,” says Emmanuelle Collin. The personal development modules were particularly effective in creating a caring and trusting environment.

The project she had when joining EMBA is not yet completed. Emmanuelle Collin wants to learn about innovation management and collective intelligence. Above all, she is looking to bring out opportunities and build a meaningful project in a collaborative environment. She is also highly results-oriented, and so wishes to invest in impact projects, where the benefits are measurable. When choosing her Maker Bridge - the specialization year - Emmanuelle Collin was asking herself questions. She gave priority to Corporate Entrepreneurship, which helps to inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit within the company. “I was convinced by the management of innovation, the discovery of new forms of collaborative and more agile work and the entrepreneurial stance that makes for autonomy, creativity and faster achievement of objectives,” adds Emmanuelle Collin.


Innovation and collective intelligence

A learning trip to Silicon Valley confirmed her interest in the culture of innovation. In Paris, she met French incubators and saw the diversity of structures and organizations and the responses they provide in a changing and sometimes uncertain world. “These encounters opened up a range of possibilities for me. Shortly after, I read an article about the Living Lab project led by GRDF in Clermont Ferrand. So I contacted the people in charge of the project to ask if I could work with them as part of my graduation project. The aim was to structure an open, decentralised innovation approach to speed up the development of green gas and the energy transition at local level. We completed the pilot project and set up a methodology for deploying it in other areas,” explains Emmanuelle Collin. Following the EMBA, GRDF continued its mission and asked her to draft a white paper on the methodology, with a view to making it available to other regions.

Emmanuelle Collin is naturally quite at home in the role of consultant. She helps organisations to implement and deploy methods and tools for use or product innovation. This satisfies her thirst for learning and discovery alongside multi-sector companies.


Creation of a collective with participants of the EMBA emlyon

Although these new missions are very satisfying, her daily life was lacking in interaction, sharing and collective stimulation. So she seized the opportunity afforded by the COVID-19 crisis to bring a collective together and meet the transformation needs of companies.

“At the start of confinement, I had to lead collaborative workshops, which were initially planned to be face-to-face. We had to think about creating an online module. With Corinne Escot-Pionin, a consultant in managerial innovation who was facing the same problem, we trained ourselves to use the new collaborative digital tools. Coupled with collective intelligence methods, these enabled us to carry on our missions from a distance. In our workshops, we saw a gradual decline in the morale of managers. In this period of crisis, links were weakening and they were questioning the raison d'être of their companies. They felt the need to focus on the needs of their employees and customers, and to enhance in-house skills. They wanted to initiate transformations but had difficulty projecting themselves,” adds Emmanuelle Collin.

This observation made them want to do something to help the teams to link up again and bounce back after the crisis. “While crises change our habits and our certainties, they are also a source of opportunity. For the companies, it was important to start up again quickly, but we were convinced that it wasn't possible to do that as if nothing had happened,” adds Emmanuelle Collin.

Along with three colleagues from EMBA, Corinne Escot-Pionin, Fawaz Maamari, an Intrapreneurship and Open Innovation consultant and Mickaël Abadie, a consultant in Managerial Innovation, Emmanuelle Collin is providing companies with a breathing space to share the experiences of the crisis and capitalize on the good practices that appeared during the containment to innovate, bounce back, reinvent themselves and restart better.

Boosted by the success of the first workshops and by the pleasure of working together again, the collective is getting structured and broadening its service offer based on activating collective intelligence as a source of efficiency.

“With our first mission in the pipeline, it became urgent to have a common identity. So we organized an online workshop to use collective intelligence and come up with proposals of names for our project. That’s how Bee’Onde, a bee'Culture pollination collective, was born. More practically, our ambition is to support organizations in their desire to reinvent themselves in order to improve their performance by making use of the human and collective dimensions and by ensuring fulfilment for the men and women who make up the organization”. In order to stand out, Bee'Onde is based on three pillars:

- The synergy of three key levers of change: Managerial innovation, open innovation (internal and external), and activation of collective intelligence.

- Their complementarity in terms of skills, expertise and experience (backgrounds, sectors, and managerial and operational functions)

- Their position as facilitators and catalysts of transformation projects: alongside the teams, they favour the transfer of skills and the philosophy of taking small steps towards an embodied, sustainable approach.


Maker Bridge Corporate Entrepreneurship course

Working on your position as an intrapreneur

Leading projects, managing, supporting innovation... companies need creative intrapreneurs who are not afraid to experiment. They are able to manage stakeholders and convince internal and external targets of the relevance of their projects. This mission requires a lot of autonomy and access to dedicated resources and methodologies. emlyon business school prepares these profiles to enable them to navigate within organizations using agile processes while understanding current business challenges.