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Innovation management is the cornerstone of a modern, agile company.
We consult companies on the subject of innovation management. Our mission is to secure our client's future through innovations.
Innovations are still essential for the development of a company. But even though this is confirmed again and again in countless studies and articles, many companies still often pose the questions, "what is the real benefit of an innovation?" or "is this additional effort worthwhile in addition to the daily business?" After all, such projects cost time, money and are not without risk. If the claim to an innovation is to secure the future, i.e., increased sales, improved profitability and competitiveness, the question arises what an innovation actually is then merely another business buzzword.
Innovation is not just about novelty, creativity or the next hype. We don't innovate to be innovative. We speak of an innovation when the new product or service has established itself on the market and creates value for the company (sales, profit, market leadership, etc.). Everything else is initially just innovative, be it an innovative product, an innovative process or an innovative business model.
„ A new product or service alone will no longer be enough for success in the digital area.“
With this definition of an innovation, we take the perspective of the company and not just the perspective of the inventor. This means that innovation management is not limited to idea generation and creativity tools, but extends over the life cycle of the innovation, i.e. product, service or business model and other innovation types. This makes innovation management more complex at first, since the value of an innovation is only assessed after it has been established in the market. It is difficult enough to find and implement innovative concepts in the first place. But if innovation management does not produce innovations that really secure the future of a company, the effort really does not pay off. This would answer the above question about the meaning of innovations as follows: If the innovative product does not create any value for the company, it is usually not an innovation.
This definition, which may seem radical, and our resulting approach to systemic innovation management have crystallized in countless innovation projects. Interesting in this regard is a recent study by McKinsey, which compares the biotechnology scene between Europe and the USA. Europe produces twice as many publications as the USA, which speaks strongly for the performance of European scientists. However, this great potential is not realized in implementation and commercialization. In the "Translation Index" defined by McKinsey, Europe only achieves a value of 0.8 compared to the USA with a value of 2.0.
European companies need an innovation management that looks at the entire life cycle of an innovative product or service to be significantly more successful in commercializing their innovative ideas.
"Innovating" initially means implementing, developing and commercializing a new idea. An idea has become an innovation when all three criteria are met:
the idea is new for the company
the idea is real, for example a product or service
the idea is established in the market and creates value for the company
Our approach starts with innovation management in the narrower sense with the goal of turning an idea into an innovative product or service. Typical and proven methods and frameworks are the classic Stage-Gate Model, Design Thinking or agiles Projektmanagement such as SCRUM.
We extend this approach in two dimensions. The first dimension is the introduction and establishment of the innovative product in the market and the associated corresponding Go-to-Market Strategies. This takes into account the fact that the focus in this country is still too much on science and technology.
The second dimension concerns the company level, the business model. Every real innovation (i.e., not just the next product version) changes the business model. For larger companies maybe not necessarily the business model of the entire company, but only of the corresponding product portfolio or market segment. For smaller companies founded around an innovative product, the business model for the product and the company are usually identical. Examples of methods for business model development is the Business Model Generation Method, which also belongs to the family of agile methods.
business model innovation separately from product, service, marketing or process innovations, as the methodological approach is significantly different and the impact on the company is more comprehensive.
We refer to the expansion of innovation management into the two dimensions of market establishment and corporate strategy as systemic innovation management, thus fulfilling the requirement of our definition of an innovation. The three areas are strongly interlinked and certain questions, for example, which customer segment do we want to address, arise in all three areas. However, by delineating or focusing on these three critical areas, it is possible to operationalize our holistic approach, and reduce complexity to apply specific methods for the current stage of development of the future innovation. To stay with the example, the granularity of defining a customer segment to plan a social media strategy is much finer than developing business model prototypes.
The benefit is to provide tailored consulting to our customers under the umbrella of systemic innovation management without losing the overall perspective. For example, for the company that wants to enter the market or a new market with an innovative product, focusing on the market introduction, for companies with existing product portfolio but poor or even lacking pipeline, focusing on new, innovative products or services.
Agile Methods are not just for software development, even if the term comes from the Agile Manifesto.
Agile methods are characterized by interdisciplinarity, experimentation and early customer interaction. The iterative process allows SMEs in particular to deploy resources in a very measured way, to manage risk and to evaluate prospects of success.
Agile methods reduce the risk that an innovative product will fail because it was developed ignoring or underestimating market needs.
Innovation Management and Systems
In this chapter, we want to illustrate that innovation is not just a question of methods, perhaps the best method, but that innovation management must be integrated within an organization. It is most illustrative to think of innovation management as a building with a wide variety of functions:
(1) A crucial question is how innovation management should be integrated in the organization, how does the innovation organization look like. Is everyone in the company innovative? Are there departments for innovation that operate parallel to the core business, or is innovation outsourced to incubators, think tanks or even spin-outs.
(2) Innovation culture is an important topic. Are all employees working agilely as of today, is New Work the solution? Whether a company needs to explicitly introduce a culture of innovation depends on two factors: (1) Is innovation embedded in the corporate strategy with a corresponding budget and time frame, and (2) are there road blocks within a company that hinder innovation management?
(3) Innovation controlling seems to be a contradiction at first hand. How do creativity and controlling fit together? But innovating is not just about creativity, results must also be generated for the company. This requires a type of innovation controlling that can and does measure progress but does not undermine innovative projects by focusing on quarterly results, as an example.
integrates innovation into the company. In addition to the actual innovation projects and the associated mostly agile methods, framework conditions such as the innovation strategy and culture are also part of the process. Areas such as human resources must also differentiate between core business and innovation initiatives when hiring staff.
Innovations and inventions have been around since the beginning of human history. As a Mainz-based consulting firm, we are of course happy to point to the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. In contrast, the concept of innovation management as a part of corporate development is quite young and was only employed in the 1980s with the introduction of the gate-stage process by Robert G. Cooper.
„ A new product or service alone will no longer be enough for success in the digital area.“
The ISO 56002 is a
standard for innovation management and systems. It helps to systematize innovation management and is suitable for larger companies for which scalability and the development of an innovation pipeline are important and thus want to anchor innovation management in the organization in terms of processes.
Innovation management is the corporate answer to globalization, the increase in knowledge available at any time, and the more rapid technical innovations that lead to ever faster changes in the competitive environment. Creativity cannot be forced and, above all, radical innovations cannot be produced off the production line. Innovation management serves to accelerate the rather random invention process, to convert it more quickly into innovative products and thus to react more quickly to market conditions or, as a company, even to influence market conditions itself.
Do small and medium-sized enterprises really need innovation management?
More than 95% of the companies are SMEs and thus represent a very heterogeneous group. There are established, traditional companies alongside young start-ups. Statistically, SMEs innovate less than large companies. The share of innovations in sales is also significantly lower. Various factors, such as limited resources, contribute to this. However, it can also be observed that there is often a lack of proper innovation management.
One of the reasons is that innovation management systems were originally designed for large companies and are therefore too expensive, too complex and too resource-intensive. But if an SME does without them, it will fall behind in international competition in the long term. SMEs need tailored, pragmatic and industry-specific innovation management in order to use scarce resources sensibly and efficiently.
With our approach, we meet precisely these requirements:
Selection and application of exactly those elements of innovation management that the company needs in its current situation.
Focus on the development of innovations instead of complex systems and isolated, theoretical methods.
Transfer and adaptation of established methods to the needs of life science companies.
Application of innovation management with the goal of truly creating value for the company..
Conclusion: Innovations serve to adapt your company to the market situation and thus secure long-term competitiveness and, not least, your future. Innovation management accelerates the innovation process, makes it scalable and focused. Innovation methods are established, reduce risk and increase success in the market.
Take a look at our offer. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
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Increase Your Competence to Innovate!
We view innovation management as a building under whose roof various functions are located. Of course, not every innovation project requires a complete new building. But we see ourselves as architects who maintain an overview, integrate the individual functions and develop forward-looking solutions for your projects.
We design and implement an innovation management that is tailored to
the needs of your company.
Take Advantage of Our Industry Knowledge!
In this way, we fill projects with concrete content, for example with business cases for eHealth applications, target product profiles for drugs or product specifications for diagnostic tests.
Our tools and methods are adopted and optimized for the life science industry.
Do not Loose Time!
We manage selected innovation projects as Interimsmanager. This allows you to focuse on your day-to-day business with the security of being ahead of the competition through professional and effective innovation management.
We support your innovation management also after implementation.
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Autorisiert seit 16. Juni 2023
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Re-autorisiert seit 12. Dezember 2022. Autorisiert seit 30. April 2021
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