@@All companies, regardless of industry and size, are faced with the imperative of innovation.@@ Often, innovation requires a fundamental change in how organizations are structured and how they operate– and this change starts at the top. At LHBS we believe that @@inspiration, and often disruption, often comes from looking outside your own industry@@. Therefore, an inspirational tour of the Berlin start up scene provided a unique opportunity for the top management of HERMA, our client and a leader in labeling solutions, to gain learning from several very different businesses. Four startups welcomed us for a session of conversations about leadership, organization, innovation management and business development.

Session #1: Delivery Hero, a food delivery service that has access to thousands of restaurants, enabling customers to quickly search and order from their favorite places.
Martin Kütter, the company’s COO shared the challenges of an internationally expanding startup currently operating in 29 countries and the management of a global online platform. The team was especially impressed and inspired by the platform’s rapid expansion and M&A processes while maintaining an agile company structure.

Session #2: Jovoto , a global creative crowdsourcing platform that enables direct collaboration between brands and creatives to generate new ideas.
Luzius Rüedi, Jovoto’s Creative Strategist illustrated the innovative approach of open creativity. One case left a lasting impression on the team on the power of open collaboration: “A Japanese designer, living in Brazil, created a Russian design for a Swiss brand.” While it demonstrated how companies can innovate by opening up their ecosystem, Luzius also talked about the challenges of managing diverse groups and collaborating as partners on equal terms.

Session #3: Medigo,  a curated marketplace that simplifies medical travel by connecting clinics with patients worldwide.
Katharina Gröber, Talent Manager at Medigo, talked about the importance of ongoing talent development and establishing a solid company culture within a global startup. Startups can be the source of interesting insights to traditional companies because they often define company culture and leadership styles radically differently, especially to attract young talent.

Session #4: Auctionata  is the international online destination for art, antiques, and luxury collectibles. It has brought the thrill of the auction room to the Internet by broadcasting online live stream auctions several times per week.
Georg Untersalmberger, CTO at Auctionata, walked us through their product development and innovation process in detail. Georg Untersalmberger highlighted the importance of agile processes, not only in the area of software development but company wide, in order to meet market needs quickly.

We warmly thank Martin Kütter, Frank, Umminger, Luzius Rüedi, Katharina Gröber, Luisa Elster  and Georg Untersalmberger for their time, hospitality and valuable insights.

We reflected on the learning from the day and followed up with further inspiration giving a presentation on Industry 4.0 covering emerging opportunities currently being created in business thanks to technological innovation and the Internet of Things. By stepping outside the usual ‘discovery’ areas of industry and competition, we were able to harness new ideas and perspectives during an innovation workshop with the HERMA team and were able to bring new insights and ways of thinking for novel ideas for organizational structure, innovation management, company culture, and process development.

@@Stepping outside your immediate business zone is one of the most helpful things you can do in order to grow as a business.@@