Current examples include the Boost running shoe, with which adidas revolutionised the running market last year, the digital miCoach products such as the adidas SMART BALL with integrated sensors which helps players optimise their game by means of an automatic coaching system, and the recently introduced Fit Smart wrist-worn fitness tracker which offers individual training programmes and captures data on sporting activities. Next year, adidas will bring to market a football boot weighing just 99g, making it lighter than any football boot ever before. And the adidas developers are already working on more new concepts and ideas in order to continue to spark consumer excitement with innovative products.
Support innovation and creativity - lifetime learning
The adidas Group, however, not only invests in products and athletes but also in the people behind these innovations – the adidas Group employees. Because only if its employees are always up to date and have opportunities for ongoing further training and development can a company be successful in the long term.
The idea of attending a seminar for a few days once a year does indeed seem antiquated in today's digital world where everything is accessible anywhere anytime. Learning doesn't take place in classrooms anyway, but in your daily life, at work, at play, with friends. We know from numerous studies, for example Charles Jennings, that only 10% of our knowledge comes from classic “lesson scenarios”.
In addition, within the space of just one hour, our brain immediately forgets 50% of what we learn in traditional classroom situations. Against this background, the adidas Group is introducing a new, innovative learning and development concept for employees. A concept that allows everyone to decide individually when, what, where and how much they want to learn. A platform where all employees can further their professional and personal development irrespective of demographic factors, hierarchies and position.
adidas' own university
After two years of hard development work and intensive exchange with external and internal learning experts, it's finally ready for go-live. The adidas university, the “adidas Group Learning Campus”, has been launched, offering all adidas Group employees the opportunity to further their development, try out new things and learn every day anew. The concept enhances classic training and development activities through new digital technologies. From today onwards, learning is an integral part of our daily work.
Maybe some people are now wondering how to find time for learning with an already full calendar. This is exactly what the Learning Campus is tailored to. It enables all employees to set up an individual learning plan and to learn when it suits their own personal schedule. The Online Learning Campus is open 24/7.
We want to support our employees as much as possible in their individual development. We have already had a company sports programme for a long time. And what the sports programme is for your body, the Learning Campus is for your mind.
Learning as integral part of working
The Learning Campus concept is simple:
The Online Learning Campus is available for everyone at any time, offering a wide variety of topics and learning opportunities such as YouTube videos, TED talks, workshops or open online courses. Everybody can decide for themselves what format and topic is right for them.
Moreover, all adidas Group employees are able and expected to share their knowledge, making them not only students but also teachers. Experienced, qualified employees are encouraged to pass on their knowledge and at the same time learn new things from the younger generation; a constant, two-way exchange from which both sides profit.
To support all this, there is not only an Online Learning Portal, where topics are discussed and commented and solutions to problems are actively sought. There are also “real” physical locations: for example, the “Shed” in Herzogenaurach, an open space for meetings, seminars, discussions and conversations. Everybody is invited to come by and “join in the learning”.
With this innovative approach, every employee has an opportunity and also a responsibility – regardless of the respective line manager – to plan his or her own personal development and thus their career. The more you learn, the more you grow.
Within the adidas Group, learning is viewed holistically. Learning is not mere knowledge consumption. It is an interactive process in constant flux. Ongoing development, knowledge maintenance and, of course, knowledge transfer are essential components for ensuring satisfied employees and sustainable success. Personal further development and advancement not only helps your own career, it also helps the company. Because behind every innovation is an employee with an ingenious idea.