Questions to ... “Avoiding extra work is key to corporate innovation”

Yurda Burghardt, CEO of Kerkhoff Experts, on establishing a culture for innovation.

Kerkhoff Experts boss Yurda Burghardt: “Innovation isn’t created by brilliant individuals alone, it is most often down to interlinking existing ideas and skills.

" Mrs. Burghardt, what forms of feedback are used to increase the momentum of corporate innovation?

Yurda Burghardt: People (and thus, employees) have a great need for individualisation. They want to contribute and be part of a network. An essential prerequisite for this is a corporate culture which allows and promotes that. Because, even the best communication channels and tools are ineffective, if employees are not involved in decision-making and feedback possibilities and if information is not transparent. Sharing knowledge is an essential aspect of developing flexibility and agility as a company – and this “advanced” knowledge will determine the economy of tomorrow. I have also observed this with our clients: those who create incentive structures for sharing knowledge have a certain advantage. Studies show that employees spend more than half of their time looking for information and for internal decision-making processes in order to focus on their actual tasks in the remaining time. In my opinion, momentum is achieved when communication is channelled, extra work is avoided and work is done in a focused, comprehensive way.

In terms of innovation culture, where does the focus need to lie in this age of networking?

Developing a culture for innovation is possibly the most difficult challenge a company can set for itself. At the same time, it is also the most important task in order to grow and achieve sustainable success in the current economic climate. Innovation isn’t created by brilliant individuals alone, it is most often down to the interlinking of existing ideas and skills to create something new. That is why all employees are important to this process. Resources such as time, employees and financial means need to be available within a company. And tools are also needed for the systematic planning and control of innovations. This is because defined processes enable concepts to be developed into marketable products. However, the most important foundation is a visionary leadership that recognises the value and benefits of innovation and actively supports this process. This leads to the creation of an environment that promotes creative ways of working and inspires inventive thinking.

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Industriemagazin 06/2019

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