Game Changer Insights Detail
5 big questions on innovation
Anne Schlösser, CEO and Founder
Anne Schlösser is founder and CEO of studiomem, an innovation company and Memoratio, a data driven venture builder. She has spent her career in solving...
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How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?
The ability to change is fundamental to the survival of any organism. Organizations, like organisms, are subject to the same type of darwinistic rules to evolve under. Finding a fit to the environment is key to survival. Successful organisms strive, unsuccessful ones wither. Beyond the ability to change and adapt, organizations need to innovate to anticipate the next critical adaptation. Digital Innovation, oftentimes is a disruption if not a successful evolution of an existing analog system. Digitalization is penetrating all areas of life. As much as the ability to change, successful companies have to find their right fit in the digital environment. For manufacturers of physical products it means to become digital service providers, just as much as service providers can “product-ize” their offer to remain relevant.
What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?
I personally believe “unlucky opportunism” is a big impediment to innovation, no matter what sector or organization. Things done opportunistically, not following overall culture or strategy will hinder change and adaptation. Managing opportunism across an organization can only be done with a strong evolving and guiding culture. Sometimes, however, opportunistic events, will turn into an adaptation, or even an innovation strategy, that’s “lucky opportunism.” Both, agility and foresight are needed to navigate opportunism.
How has innovation become engrained in your organization's culture, and how is it being optimized?
studiomem is a strategic innovation and design company, with a 12 year history of delivering innovation services from strategy to implementation to start-ups, mid sized businesses and global fortune 500 clients. We constantly ask ourselves: what is the future of our business, dedicate time to gain foresight and innovate our offer. The paradox is, that selling innovation services, does not make you innovative yourself. You’ll have to eat your own medicine and dedicate as much time to innovate for your own business, as you expect from your clients. Earlier I mentioned that service providers will have to productize to be successful in a globally digitalized world. That’s what we are driving forward now. Two years ago we co-founded the data driven venture builder, Memoratio. A logical consequence of our experience as an innovation company, ultimate proof of expertise in innovation means venturing into entrepreneurialism. Besides venture building, Memoratio and studiomem are productizing our services by offering our clients Data Driven Innovation formats or our foresight format ‘Visioneering’. In these formats, we are combining design thinking methodology with Big Data and AI - our clients benefit by gaining never-before-seen precision in finding opportunity and in understanding their audience in the future.
What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?
It is March 2021, we are in the midst of the third wave of the pandemic in Germany. Countries are getting ready to start-up again. The post-pandemic world feels within reach. Right now, everybody is asking themselves, how will it be different? What will change, what will stay or come back, what will be gone forever? Technologies driving the next two years will be anything, which is enabling rapid advancement and the evolution of digitalisation. During the Covid Crisis the world has became smaller as we collaborate and compete across organizations, societies, continents digitally. The given circumstances delivered the need to adapt to new environments. Within these new environments customers demand and businesses will deliver a new fit. The post-pandemic world however will by no means be less troubled. The climate crisis is here and now, more than ever, radical transparency, boosted by global digitalization will drive forward environmental, social and governance criteria. Change and adaptation will be crucial, not only for the survival of the individual organism but this time for the survival of the species.
Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?
Our current transition is driven by the pandemic, digitalization and climate change. Organizations are trying to understand how the post pandemic world will be different, how climate change will impact their business model, and how they can use technology to drive forward these changes to create positive impact. We utilize our foresight format Visioneering to support organizations in finding ways to deal with these changes and uncertainties. Visioneering is based on forecasting plausible future scenarios, based on technology, social, environmental and business trends. We help our clients to think forward 20-30 years into the future and imagine their organization’s brand, products and services. We then sketch a roadmap backwards, giving them a long term innovation strategy and future purpose to work with. Our clients tell us, that besides the strategic outcome, their organizational cultures are deeply impacted by becoming more future-focussed and more aware of thinking long term.