Air Products is a global supplier of industrial gases, related equipment and applications expertise to customers in dozens of industries.
Alongside a transition to clean energy production using hydrogen as a fuel, Air Products have initiated a change program for leaders to support a culture of innovation and focus on the future.
To support the leadership change programme, Insitu developed a mobile app with 60 minutes of interactive animation in 15 language translations, and deployed it within the company after just 7 weeks from the start of the project.
Air Products works with customers in dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. It employs more than 19,000 people and operates over 750 facilities in 50 countries.
Looking to the future, Air Products is transforming its business to become a leader in developing hydrogen fuel systems and infrastructure for a clean energy supply to help solve some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.
Alongside this strategic shift, Air Products’ leadership team set in motion a change programme to equip leaders with a globally consistent set of leadership values and practices required to achieve the strategic priorities of the company.
Air Products required an app to support other activities planned for the rollout of the programme. In particular, they required the app to be able to show leadership values and practices in play in familiar situations, and as deployment of the new way of leading and demonstrate the leadership values and practices in context with familiar situations encountered across their engineering sites around the world.
Working with the global learning and capability development team at Air Products, we started the app development with research around the leadership programme strategy, interviews with stakeholders, and concept prototyping.
The solution that bubbled to the top was for an animated interactive story delivered through 9 episodes of 7 minutes duration using the Luma1 interactive video platform.
What also became apparent was that there was a challenging delivery timetable of just 7 weeks to coincide with the launch of the leadership programme across the organisation.
In 7 weeks, our teams at Insitu would need to write scripts, storyboard, build animations, integrate the Luma1 platform into the Air Products IT technology stack, build out the interactive user experience, test and deploy the product.
And did we do it? Yes, we did!
Development at speed
Our teams at Insitu like nothing better than rising to meet a tough challenge!
Agile project management with continuous release and tight deadlines for client feedback and approval was key to the success of this project.
Storyworld, character arcs, concept art, script writing, storyboarding, animation, voiceover talent selection and platform integration all happened at the same time, coordinated through daily standup meetings, and online project management and collaboration tools.
The new leadership values and practices at Air Products lay out a clear set of expectations of leaders at all levels, and the way in which leaders practice leadership shapes the culture within their teams.
To demonstrate the consequences of a leader’s actions on the culture of their teams and Air Products’ culture as a whole, script writers at Insitu developed a set of characters matched to the different leadership levels in the company, and then mapped the leaders, leadership values and practices into stories that would be familiar, engaging and personally challenging to learner.
For speed, Insitu’s animators used a line drawing style for characters with coloured cores to represent the internal values of a leader. An added benefit of this style is that it is simple to extend, and has a long shelf life.
Using photographs and video from the Air Products archive, the team were able to make sure the visual style evoked the industrial work environments in different countries and were able to ensure diversity and inclusion in representation of the workforce was well presented.
Meanwhile, the tech teams at Insitu’s platform partner Luma1, worked with engineers at Air Products to integrate the Luma1 interactive video platform into the Air Products tech stack, including single sign on, and alignment with IT security requirements.
After just 7 weeks, the leadership app, with 90 minutes of animation, was successfully launched in 51 countries and 15 languages.
The animated characters are very popular across Air Products, showing leaders how they can use the leadership values and practices in their own teams.
The distinctive style of animation, makes the leadership brand stand out in internal company communications and is very recognisable.
The characters are also being used more widely in other resources supporting and promoting the leadership programme.
For the learner, the leadership app delivered through the Luma1 platform is easy to use and intuitive to follow. Leaders can follow at their own pace, wherever they are.
Questions and quizzes allow for self-testing, and meeting the values and practices in different stories in the animation series supports retrieval practice and familiarity with the expectations set for them as a leader.
Polls and other cohort-based activities allow leaders to see their learning in the context of the rest of the cohort and provide inspiration for ongoing conversations with colleagues outside the bounds of the app.
For the organisation, the platform data and analytics show engagement levels and progress using the app across the cohort. It allows the change management team to identify and respond to questions, analyse audio and text contributions from learners, and provide additional support to leaders as needed.
As a small agency, we are proud that we have gained the trust of a global Fortune 500 company to deliver innovative content to support such a crucial part of an extensive change management process.
Insitu was the perfect match for this project with our keen eyes for detail, creativity, flexibility and ability to deliver high quality work under tight deadlines.
We continue our work with Air Products, developing further content and providing ongoing support for the leadership programme across the organisation.