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Executive Education

HEC Paris and "L'Université Carrefour" co-design program in innovation

The 3-day program is aimed at top executives from the Carrefour Group worldwide and capitalizes on the innovative Odyssey 3.14 approach developed by HEC Professors LAURENCE LEHMANN-ORTEGA and HÉLÈNE MUSIKAS. This tailor-made “Learning Odyssey" focuses on 3 key areas - ideation, listening to customers and making innovation happen.


Day one of the program enables participants to work on the ideation process and explore all the different types of innovation, not just technology-based innovation. They carry out a series of exercises that allows them to break away from their everyday "habits", that encourages them to think differently and become more creative and more open to new opportunities.


The second day focuses on how to listen to customers more effectively. Professor KRISTINE DE VALCKdemonstrates how digital transformation has radically changed what customers expect in terms of personalization, service and experience. During day two, the managers from Carrefour also participate in a creative workshop with young HEC Paris graduates who take on the role this ‘new customer’. The aim of the workshop is to increase awareness of the needs of Carrefour’s clients and non-clients that are currently unmet and how they can be leveraged by innovation.


On the final day of the program participants get the opportunity to “make innovation happen” at the Ici Montreuil Fablab in Paris. They create a prototype based on the ideas generated in the various workshops during the first two days of the program. Using the raw materials available in the Fablab and working with different "makers" during a Makathon enables them to turn their ideas into reality.



The program adopts an action-based learning approach that features workshops and experimentation. The morning sessions consist of a series of lectures and the interactive afternoon sessions give the participants the opportunity to apply everything they have learned. ‘Unconventional’ lecturers share their unique learning techniques to enable the participants to see things from different angles and help them appropriate the new concepts. 


As Stéphanie Brisac, Group Training Program Manager at Carrefour underlines:


The participants are very enthusiastic about this program. They go back to their jobs enriched by what they have experienced over the 3 days. The method is excellent and once they have tested it they find it easy to apply in the workplace.”  Stéphanie Brisac, Group Training Program Manager, Carrefour


This program was specifically designed to support Carrefour Group’s omnichannel strategy by becoming more innovative in order to remain competitive. Worldwide, the Group’s stores come in a variety of formats and channels - all designed to meet evolving customer needs. With 11,935 stores in 34 countries, Carrefour is a major player in global retail with strong roots in its local communities. Currently operating in mainland France and its overseas territories, Europe, Latin America, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, the Group relies on a network of integrated and franchised stores, as well as the stores it runs with local partners.