Beim Reeperbahnfestival habe ich zwei Sessions zum Thema Innovation gehört:

1. Jeff Gothelf: Building A Culture of Innovation
2. Daniel Neuberger: A Culture of Innovation in Practice

Folgende Punkte habe ich als Quintessenz mitgenommen:

Jeff Gothelf:

Don’t make the same assumptions all the time
We can’t keep doing things the way we have always done them
Treat your business as a software business  – software is the key, software is eating the world

Beispiel New York Times:
The NYT sees itself as a 150 year old journalistic organization – that’s why they are facing huge problems
Instead: See yourself as a software business that is happening to do great journalism

Beispiel Amazon:
Every 11.6 seconds – this is how often Amazon is pushing software; if they see a change, they scale and optimize; if something fails, they roll it back – so by testing continuously they learn in a very fast pace

A culture of innovation is a culture of learning, a culture which values learning – testing vs. assumptions


How do we build a culture of innovation?


The most important part is the teams and the anatomy of the teams
Small teams of 6 – 8 people – if 2 Pizzas aren’t enough, your team is too big
The team-members have to be able to talk, not write – so collocate them, let them sit next to each other
One person has to have product ownership and to see the whole
They have to be dedicated – everyone is working on this and nothing else
Make the team self-sufficient: Everything the team needs to do, it can do on its own.


Roadmaps are bad, because we learn things along the way and we have to adjust
It should be lists of questions not of features; features on their own are not incentives
Bad: budgeting, top-down
Get granular! Give your team a small problem to solve
Pitches: Let each team pitch for further funding and support in front of the whole company every week/ 2 weeks/ month – we did this, achieved that, learned this – will you fund us again?
Crossfunctional collaboration: Don’t stick to jobtitles, don’t limit your teams creativity
Don’t scare your people, a culture of fear is not productive
arbritrary deadlines
Give them clear definitions of success
And: Let your teams self-organize


Why Should we Build a Culture of Innovation?

1. Customers are happy
2. Costs are reduced
3. Employees moral increases
4. Innovation takes place


For publisher’s houses, big organizations:

– start with a small cell, a small project
– don’t lock them in the basement – let them be part of the daily life
– protect them, let them do just this one thing and nothing else for a period of time
– Give them a clear goal, a small one. Like „Increase traffic on weekends“
– Let their work be transparent – one demo day per week or so.
– If it’s a success, this way of working will spread and hopefully become culture


Daniel Neuberger:
Culture is everywhere – culture eats strategy for breakfast
Culture learns – so  you can change culture
Culture can’t be copied

A Culture of testing: 80% of the ideas you have won’t work

Building the product right vs. building the right product – how can we deliver value for the user as fast as possible? That’s the minimum viable product

The Internet is not just another channel; companies are becoming networks


Ask yourself:
– How fast are you going to change?
– How fast is the environment changing?
– How big is the gap?


Explore your culture. Make a culture book – write down anonymously, how working in you company feels (Beispiel: Zappos)
Build a culture cell – change the culture within the team
Also: the top management approach – your boss creates the culture
And: hunt the hippo: highest paid persons opinion


Culture is what makes your company and your product unique.