As the digital era gains pace, companies in every sector face complex challenges – from mounting innovation pressure and new models of value creation to organizational and cultural change. To boost innovation capabilities, they must rethink structures and processes, and become more open to external sources of knowledge and inspiration.
Wolfgang Wopperer-Beholz, co-founder of mindmatters and betahaus Hamburg, has accompanied start-ups and established companies in change and innovation processes for many years. In April 2018, he will be one of the coaches in Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft’s Pop-up Office, a unique experimental event that takes an interdisciplinary approach to urgent issues faced by entrepreneurs and corporations alike. At the Pop-up Office, pioneers and professionals from various economic sectors will spend five days working on concrete ideas for collaboration beyond rigid industry structures.
“Cultural change is one of the most pressing challenges faced by companies today,“ Wopperer-Beholz noted. “To deal with it appropriately, you need a deep understanding of the current company culture, its causes and effects, as well as a fresh view on possible alternatives and perspectives. Both understanding and creativity profit enormously from incorporating a broad range of experiences and insights. Therefore, we have made diversity and cross-sectoral collaboration the cornerstones of the Pop-up Office.”
Wopperer-Beholz will coach three temporary teams and help them develop new approaches to collaboration within and outside of companies. Every day, work in the Pop-up Office will begin with an inspiration talk on cross-sectoral innovation, cultural change, active management approaches, digital transformation, or contemporary office and workplace layout, given by leading experts in these areas. On that basis, the teams will take a deep dive into concrete problems and work on tangible ideas for collaboration along the lines of a design sprint.
New markets for pioneers
“Creative professionals bring experiences, methods and mindsets to the table that are very different from those known and used by established companies. That helps ask unbiased questions, discover hidden contexts, and generate new kinds of ideas,” said Wopperer-Beholz. On the other hand, creative professionals can discover and test how to expand and redefine their role from suppliers of ideas and design services to catalysts and facilitators of organisational change. “For them, the Pop-up Office can open up new markets and business models,” he added.
Shaping innovation processes
The Pop-up Office will have two distinctive features, Wopperer-Beholz explained: “On the one hand, we will work very holistically – we will combine concrete experiences with in-depth analysis, use and shape our whole workspace as a playground for ideas, and include people and groups from beyond the office. On the other hand, the participants will take away a deep understanding of how communication and collaboration across organisational and cultural borders can work. That will enable them to shape their organisation’s development and innovation processes.”
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