Incumbent firms always struggle with disruptive rivals because they don’t want to cannibalise their existing offerings or they are unable to rethink their existing way of working.


This award is for the organisation that most successfully reinvented itself when faced with a major challenge to its previously-successful business model.


Learn more about the 2018 shortlisted candidates

Bayer AGcompany_s


Bayer Ag

Innovation has always been fundamental to the success of Bayer, one of the world’s largest life science companies. But with important changes underway in healthcare and agriculture, as well as broader trends in digital disruption, the company recognised that innovation driven by the traditional research and development process alone would not be sufficient.


So, in 2016 Monika Lessl, Head of Innovation Strategy, formulated a systemic approach to make innovation the responsibility of all employees, focusing on four pillars: Inspire, Learn, Collaborate, and Connect. By early 2018, the innovation programme had real momentum – nearly 1,000 people had some sort of formal role to support innovation; more than 5,000 had been involved in innovation training; and more than 35,000 were connected through the online innovation portal, YOUniverse.


At the heart of this transformation is a novel organising model, an ‘agile network’ of 80 innovation ambassadors and more than 700 coaches who are pushing the company’s innovation agenda, while also continuing to do their traditional jobs within the hierarchical structure. While getting this network started took a lot of effort, there is now a waiting list of people seeking to join this community.


With the ‘backbone’ of the innovation programme completed, Bayer is now moving to Phase Two. This means making the framework sustainable, further developing innovation capabilities and expanding the innovation network to an entire ecosystem – while not losing sight of the business impact and the need to showcase the truly impressive results the programme is generating.



Follow Bayer on Twitter: @Bayer







The story of Benivo is really one of resilience, self-awareness and – above all – the courage to be agile. Benivo provides relocation services to employees of large corporates, easing their transition to a new job in a new country through help on all matters to do with relocation. But it didn’t start out that way.


Founder Nitzan Yudan’s original idea was a sub-letting service for people looking for flats they knew could be trusted. Unfortunately, the start-up ran into problems and Yudan was faced with hard choices. This was the point where many entrepreneurs fail because they are so emotionally attached to their creation that they are unable to modify it – or change it completely – in favour of a new model.


But Yudan had the courage to “kill his darling” and think again. On the way, he developed a new approach to validate business ideas - Sell-Solve-Scale (an ultra lean-startup approach, that starts with a paying client even before the minimum viable product has been established), and managed to sign Google on a paid pilot with the “ugliest-page-in-the-history-of-internet-pages”. Yudan reinvented his business model entirely to enter a new market, eventually winning more than 50 clients including Google, PwC, Verizon, Vodafone and Bloomberg, and growing the company to 70 employees.



Follow Benivo on Twitter: @benivohq





On the face of it, Italian energy giant Enel seems an unlikely candidate for the Masters of Reinvention Award. A world-leading integrated electricity and gas operator, it works in 34 countries across five continents, generating energy with a managed capacity of more than 88 GW, selling gas and distributing electricity across a network spanning almost 2.2 million km. With almost 72 million end users, it is one of Europe’s leading energy companies by installed capacity and reported EBITDA.


But when you stop to consider that almost half that energy is produced with zero carbon dioxide emission through its renewables arm, Enel Green Power,you realise just how far the formerly state-owned company has come since privatisation in 1999. It was alsothe world’s first company to replace traditional meters with smart meters – innovation critical to the development of intelligent grids, smart cities and electric transport – making Enel a pioneer that’s driving radical change throughout the global energy sector. Reinvention, indeed.



Follow Enel on Twitter: @EnelGroup



Founded  in  1889  as  a  playing  card  company,  Nintendo  is  now  a  games  console  giant.  The  Japanese  organisation  enjoyed  great  success  when  launching  the  Nintendo  Entertainment  System  in  Europe  in  1986.  But  over  the  following  years,  an  increase  in  competition  within  the  traditional  gaming  audience  affected  Nintendos  market  share. 


In  response  to  this,  Nintendo  set  out  to  do  things  differently.  It  launched  the  Game  Boy  –  providing  gaming  on  the  go  –  and  captured  a  brand  new  audience  with  the  innovation  of  the  Nintendo  Wii.  This  was  an  entirely  new  value  proposition  that  appealed  to  all  members  of  the  family.  A  radical  reinvention  that  attracted  an  entirely  new  demographic  of  non-gamers,  while  still  appealing  to  the  existing  consumer  base. 


While  others  focused  on  price  and  developing  technology  to  maximise  revenues  in  the  short  term,  Nintendo  focused  on  a  strategy  of  innovation.  Though  the  Wii  U,  a  new-generation  gaming  system  did  not  meet  expectations,  Nintendo  went  on  to  launch  its  most  innovative  product  to  date;  one  which  has  set  the  company  on  a  course  to  success  that  far  exceeds  its  competitors.  The  Nintendo  Switch  –  a  console  that  can  be  played  anywhere  –  has  proved  a  commercial  success,  by  giving  gamers  the  freedom  to  play  any  way  they  choose. 


Nintendo  wants  to  build  on  this  success  with  Nintendo  Labo,  a  new  product  where  gamers  can  build  cardboard  accessories,  such  as  a  steering  wheel  or  joystick  that  works  with  the  Switch,  enabling  users  to  create  toys  known  as  Toy-Con.  Once  again,  this  welcomes  a  new  demographic  of  families  and  non-gamers  through  a  unique  process  of  making,  playing  and  discovering  together. 



Follow Nintendo on Twitter: @NintendoUK





Founded in 2000 in Ukraine as an oil-trading business, WOG had grown to 500 gas stations by 2012 with 96% of its sales coming from fuel. But the 2014-15 recession and the devaluation of the Ukrainian currency created massive problems for the company. Having to import its fuel, it was no longer able to compete with vertically integrated rivals who had their own supply of fuel and profitability dived. So, under a new team led by Sergii Koretskyi from 2013, the company shifted its focus to retail; its aim to become a one-stop shop for fuel, food and coffee.


Focusing on exceptional customer service, in 2016 it made another strategic shift to become a vertically integrated food and drink company, with its own products, standalone convenience stores and coffee shops out of the petrol station network (airports, railway stations etc.) Today, WOG is almost unrecognisable from its oil-trading origins: 70% of customers are individual consumers (versus 45% in 2013) and 25% of revenues are non-fuel (versus 4% in 2013). Moreover, its customer base has risen from 200,000 to 580,000 and its market share has gone from 8% to 18% – a case, perhaps, of reincarnation as much as reinvention.



Follow WOG on Twitter: @azsWOG