Factors for Successful Innovations – Even in Times of Crisis

The current COVID 19 situation in the economy and society is characterised by numerous imponderables and uncertainties. What will happen after the Corona pandemic, and what role should innovation management play in this to move your company forward? Innovation management means questioning the status quo, consistently adapting it, even proactively changing it, because companies that dominate a market today may be doomed to be spectators tomorrow! We will show you 10 strategies on how to say goodbye to the status quo again and again, even in challenging situations.

This article by Prof. Claus W. Gerberich and myself was originally published in German in KMU Magazin 02/2022.

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Back to «New Normal»: Facing the Intrinsic Roots of Learning

«Song for Abdullah» (Kenny Barron), originally released in 1985 on the Album «Scratch».

Now that the light at the end of the COVID 19 tunnel is beginning to shine, the question remains as to how companies will adapt to the «New Normal». It has been shown that remote or flex work turns out to rule particularly well when all employees are aware of the purpose of the company and actively implement it in their daily work. Nevertheless, «Purpose» should not be confused with individual willingness to actively engage. As Friedrich Nietzsche already knew, the individual is highly dependent on his personal intrinic motivation:

«He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.» (Friedrich Nietzsche)

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DisruptHR Talk: «Designing the Organizational Groove»

Designing the Organizational Groove – a DisruptHR talk by Daniel C. Schmid – March 4, 2021 in Zurich, CH #DisruptHRZRH

Interview by Lena Schwerzmann, SPOT ON, with Daniel C. Schmid:

QUESTION: You’re talkin about the «Groove» of an organization or company. How can I check/measure whether or how well my company is in the groove?

ANSWER: On the one hand, the “Groove” of a company can be perceived subjectively, e.g. quite specifically in the application process by the candidates:

  • How long does it take to get qualified feedback on my application?
  • Do I have to constantly ask various people?
  • Is there a recognizable rhythmic structure to the entire process or is everything improvised and “ad hoc”? 

On the other hand, “Groove” can also be objectively measured by quantitative methods, e.g. by means of KPIs on fluctuation or absenteeism parameters. New digital and swarm-intelligent methods aim to determine real-time data on employee satisfaction, for example the “Happimeter” technology by Dr. Peter Gloor, Research Scientist at MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and Founder of Galaxyadvisors.

QUESTION: What are the most common reasons when a company is “off-beat”?

ANSWER: My observations from more than 15 years of training consulting essentially show the same picture: poor leadership role models, poorly designed digital business processes, and uncertain market prospects form a dangerous mix of uncontrollable “syncopes” that can throw a company completely out of rhythm. Analog, appreciative (management) communication beats unsystematic, digital actionism by far. My motto is: “Trust cannot be digitized!”

QUESTION: What do you think is the most important change in the near future with regard to HR that companies better not miss?

ANSWER: In view of the current hype surrounding “purpose,” “agility,” “VUCA,” and the like, companies should return to their original DNA in order to position themselves successfully on the scarce market for skilled workers: Attractive employer branding must actively incorporate the company’s entrepreneurial and idealistic roots; role models here are especially family businesses that cultivate traditional analog values and elegantly lead the way into the post-digital future.

QUESTION: As a musician, what other parallels can you draw to corporate culture and management?

ANSWER: Here I quote Duke Ellington, the “Godfather of Jazz”, that says it all: “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing!”

Charlottesville or the Betrayal of Enlightenment

Source: Keystone-SDA

The unprecedented events of recent days in Washington have struck at the very heart of the constitutionally guaranteed values of the United States. To what extent has the outgoing 45th president of the United States permanently changed the political discourse in the United States and shaken the foundations of the Enlightenment using the example of “Charlottesville”? Is the land of unlimited possibilities turning into the land of unlimited facts in the post-Trump era?

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Some Thoughts on Enlightenment facing COVID-19

When Johns Hopkins University, the leading institution of today’s COVID-19 statistics, was founded in 1876, it was America’s first research university which combined research and teaching on the model of German universities, in particular the renowned University of Heidelberg. Intererestingly, both institutions nowadays play a crucial role in fighting COVID-19 and are combined with swarm intelligence based research tools such as Nextstrain or the online map developed by the University of Heidelberg that shows the global research activities on coronavirus. Let’s delve deeper an have a look at their historical origins.

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