Haarlems Dagblad, June 2018

“Suppose the performance of your company is the result of the way in which you have organized your company. If you are satisfied with these achievements, I would leave everything as it is. But if you are unable to innovate while you would like to, I would think about how you organize your business”. This bomb caused confusion during a lengthy discussion about innovation problems in companies without R&D.

The discussion was mainly about managers and employees who could not have innovated or about scrumming and working agile. Using the confusion, I continued: “A traditional company works as a” performance engine “that makes products or provides services. A performance engine that makes cookies does not innovate. At most it can make cookies smarter or come up with other cookies. But they still are cookies. ” “Yes of course, because it is a cookie factory,” someone said indignantly. “Exactly,” I continued. “We link what we do to what we are. I’m a baker, so I bake and sell bread. We are a library, so we lend books. In this way you only develop baking bread or lending books. ” “And so?” Someone asked.

“Ask yourself what your company wants to bring to the customer and consider what you do only as a method to achieve this. For example, the library wants to inspire people to read. To achieve this, all kinds of innovative or unexpected methods are possible. For example, literary trips to Japan. The first step to innovation is to ask what the company wants to bring about. ” “That’s a pretty tough question,” someone sighed. “Actually it is quite strange that this question is difficult for a company,” I said and went looking for fresh coffee.