“It is necessary for my colleagues and me to change our perspectives regularly.“

Doris Krüger, Senior Director Future Innovation Strategy at Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with respect to your position as Senior Director Future Innovation Strategy at Deutsche Lufthansa AG?

Doris Krüger: Indeed – this question can of course be answered in many different ways and perceived through manifold perspectives. Let me try to give you a short answer regarding what matters to me in my present role and responsibilities. Keep in mind that this definition is an always moving target with the capability to change at all times:

Innovation is the successful development and implementation of an idea. This could be: a new product, a new service, a new process or a new business model. Innovation is therefor especially important to the Lufthansa Group as it improves our competitive position by creating a significant value for our customers and the company itself.

We differentiate 3 categories of innovation at Lufthansa Group:

  1. An existing concept, but optimized or even new for the Lufthansa Group
  2. Something new for the industry or branch or containing new aspects
  3. Something completely new for the whole world

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“Corporate innovation is a cloud of confusion.”

Paul Tran, Director, Enterprise Sales & Global Partnerships at Brightidea, Inc.

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How do you define innovation at Brightidea?

Paul Tran: We define innovation as simply “doing something new that creates value”. Corporate innovation is a cloud of confusion (see illustration). This makes it difficult for organizations to know where to start. Couple that with the fact that dedicated corporate innovation teams typically are very small with limited budget but have huge mandates. They need tools that enable them to accomplish a lot with limited resources. At Brightidea we focus on providing a “Structured Innovation Process that delivers Measurable Outcomes”. This philosophy extends to everything we do.  Which is why we develop and market a platform that is specifically designed to take ideas to reality through a very structured process. Collection of ideas is the easy part….executing on those ideas is hard work.

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“We are also a software company and not only a product company”

Uwe Rückl, Head of Research and Development, Computed Tomography, Siemens Healthineers

There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with respect to your position as Head of R&D at Siemens Healthineers?

Innovations should enable your customers do their tasks more easier, cost efficient or just enable them to do what they could not do before. This is why we at Siemens Healthineers want to support healthcare providers, our customers, to deliver better outcomes at lower costs.

A classical general definition of innovation includes the combination of technology and business. In this regard, innovation can comprise push effects in terms of new technology, but also pull effects with coming from markets and competitors. Concerning push effects, it is important to have a good overview of the latest technology and the developments in different technology fields and asks the question what customer pain points you can solve with new technologies. There is not an optimal mix of push-pull factors for all companies. For us at the moment, I would expect that many innovations are based on some 70% push and some 30% pull factors. What is important for us is to minimize time to feedback e.g. having pilot customers in every region that helps us to understand their business even better as well as getting fast and reliable feedback on new approaches. An example of a technology push is our cinematic rendering technology which is illustrated in the following video:

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“It is no longer about digitization of the banking business, but about banking in a digitized world.”

Mirjam Puetz, Head of Disruptive & Strategic Programs at the Deutsche Bank

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How do you define innovation?

Mirjam Puetz: For me personally, innovation is more than the development of new products and services, it is the lifeblood of all our efforts and has been a major driver of human development over the millennia. It is the materialisation of a creative spark, conceived in the most complex of all machines we know of today, our brain, and turned into reality by the efforts of multiple individuals that join forces to create something bigger than themselves. In this respect, innovation is not just something new and “disruptive”, it is the instantiation of the creative genius we all carry within us.

In banking, however, our focus in the last few decades has been on efficiency, creating more and more standardisation and a lack of creativity to build a new banking world. From our customers’ perspective, innovation is also a lifestyle, an attitude of constant questioning and improving of the status quo, a never-ending quest to change a product, a service or a whole society for the better. In this respect, the banking industry has embarked on a new journey, meeting and surpassing our customers’ expectations, improving our own innovation capabilities and the speed with which we are implementing changes in our own organisation and our offerings.
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“We aim to set trends in the housing industry.”

Jan Timmermann, Head of New Business at Vonovia SE

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with respect to your position as Head of New Business at Vonovia? 

Jan Timmermann: Innovation is one of our top priorities. We aim to ‘set trends in the housing industry’. Despite the fact that the housing sector is generally seen as being somewhat resistant to innovation, we always keep our eye on the future because our tenants certainly will do the same. For me, innovation is about incorporating advancements, which are shaped to a considerable degree by other sectors, into our product – housing. This approach has been working pretty well so far. In my view, however, innovation is also about thinking outside the box and thinking about how we can adapt established concepts to optimally fit with our current situation, just like we have done with modular construction. 

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Interviews

“It is no longer about digitization of the banking business, but about banking in a digitized world.”

Mirjam Puetz, Head of Disruptive & Strategic Programs at the Deutsche Bank

Monday, May 29, 2017

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How do you define innovation? Mirjam Puetz: For me personally, innovation is…

“We aim to set trends in the housing industry.”

Jan Timmermann, Head of New Business at Vonovia SE

Monday, May 8, 2017

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with respect to your position as Head…

“Corporates need to understand why they need to work with startups before they embark doing so.”

Dr. Evangelos Simoudis, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Synapse Partners

Friday, May 5, 2017

Innoboard: You worked both with big companies as well as startups for many years. In your opinion, how differs the understanding of innovation between these two kinds of…

“The digital ecosystems and platforms forming around all industries are accelerating the speed and impact of innovation.”

Michael Connor, Founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Innoboard: There is no universal definition of innovation. Every industry and every company perceive it differently. As CEO of the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator, how do you define innovation?…