About the efforts of “innovation hubs”

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Intro

In the meantime, “innovation hubs” have become fashionable among large german corporations: Whether (for example at banks and savings banks) Deutsche Bank with its “Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs”, Siemens with the iHub or Postbank with the “Idea Lab”. Almost every other DAX company joins the ranks here with a department / branch or spin-off. What are the benefits of innovation hubs?

What do “Innoavtion Hubs” bring?

The facilities look at least visually similar: Young people, no dress code, table football or table tennis tables are integrated into the office landscape. The objective is always similar: to develop new perspectives in the product landscape, detached from bureaucratic constraints or generally from the organisational structures that finance the hubs. I have listed a few arguments.

Pros

By releasing organizational constraints, rather unrealistic scenarios are also illuminated, and completely new ideas can emerge. The employees there work without fear: Anyone who has run up against the wall with a good idea in an old hierarchy will hardly be able to comment on something new. The hubs work under the same working conditions as the parent company. Social security helps employees to develop.

Contras

Old employees do not take work results seriously The transfer of ideas into the old world is difficult or even impossible to integrate and the support does not lead to a transfer.

And now?

So there are some ideas for and against such hubs. Should you be established? Some results would also be possible without such spin-offs. But this would require much more personal responsibility to be transferred to the employees and fears of making mistakes to be reduced. For this, however, a new management philosophy is needed, away from micromanagement towards more trust. If this should be possible, the spin-off of the hubs would take care of itself. The long-term success of a hub lies in the fact that the results grow out of the “proof of concept” stage and are also transferred into the real world of the organization. To this end, the support must not only lie in the founding of the Hub, but also in the interlocking of the Hub and the Old World.

Added value of Digitaltransformation

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Today I stumbled across a tweet by Christian Müller which I found very exciting:

Executive, female, late 50s: You: “The whole digital world, where is there still value added?” Me: “What do you mean by added value?” You: “Well, produce something that can be touched.” – That, too, is a subjective reality in times of digitalization.

(Tweet by @CMueller80)

Does digitalization bring added value?

Does digitalization bring added value?
I can understand the thoughts in the first step: The biggest “winners” of digitization to date are AirBnB or Uber, for example. However, it is precisely such companies that have taken existing business processes and generated added value for the customer with smart applications. The process itself is the same, but exactly these new market participants are participating and taking margins.


In my opinion, however, these success stories are only the tip of the iceberg and do not symbolize the actual upheavals associated with digitization:

Digitisation is accompanied by a number of new technologies which not only affect the end customer but also enter production. Here are a few examples

IoT: Internet of Things: This is about networking all kinds of things. This includes not only everyday objects, but also machines and shelves. Logistics can thus be optimized considerably. In production, maintenance can be improved.

Big Data and AI: Networked with the point before, a lot of data can be collected, but also analyzed. Techniques such as neurological networks help to process the data and draw conclusions from it.

3D Printing: 3D printing can also be mentioned in the context of digitization. It still has the charm of a gimmick for nerds. However, the technology is developing rapidly. There are many conceivable areas of application in production, up to “Just in Time Printing”, i.e. the time-accurate production of components. This technology has so much potential that production could again become more attractive in high-price wage locations such as Germany.

What is reflected in the tweet is the perception. The best-known companies do not produce anything, but only use familiar business processes. However, these best-known examples are not representative of what digitization means for companies. There are also many possibilities in production that are not always so well known.


It is highly recommended for every company to deal with digitization: So not just apps, but: Where can we use new technologies and how can we use it?