Author: Jörg Reckhenrich | | Category:

CEIBS Study Tour, Creativity and Innovation

What makes yourself a creative being and how do we work collectively in an innovation process, when creativity is most needed? I raised those two key questions, which led through the CEIBS Program on Saturday July 8th. Eighteen managers from China wanted to know more about ideas, methodology and impactful examples. The introduction lecture “creative leadership” raised questions around the mindset and attitude to boost innovation. Forget the manager – welcome to the conductor, facilitating the creative flow and social space. Best results in innovation processes emerge, if the team is aware to handle relationship in the most positive manner and is able to inspire each other. Research shows, that a ration of 3 – 1 (three positive interactions, in order to balance one negative) helps teams to flourish. These preconditions were discussed along two different approaches, Design Thinking and Strategic Innovation.

During the afternoon, we had the opportunity to talk with Peter Krebs, the head of marketing at the Swiss National Museum. The visit was carefully prepared as a cooperative approach between CEIBS, and the museum. The participants wanted to learn first-hand, how a museum is able to rethink the three core levers of strategic innovation: the who = new customers, the what = new products and services, the how = new visitor relationship. The core of the museum is the Swiss “brand” story.

Recently the museum has developed a full range of innovative ideas and has implemented them. For instance, targeting young people, the museum offers a format, called “Lakritz”, which is a performance, drink and special tours event, held every 1st Thursday of the month The Lakritz event attracts many new visitors, which might not go to a museum often. The museum tours are prepared by online bloggers, facebook writers and also comedians, which brings a different twist how to look at the history of Swiss. Finally, most impressive for the Chinese group was the use of digital technology, which is state of the art at a museum. Any questions like: can history be told in a playful and fun way, here they were answered. Books are used as a screen. Scrolling from page to page, the story of Swiss history, fundamental values or even the Heidi tale, is told by high definition media projection. The highlight of that section is a big rock sculpture, showing the Gotthard mountains. The astonished visitor takes a mini pad, looks through the screen to the sculpture and discovers, rivers, cities and mountain passes. Finally, it all becomes clear what innovation is all about at the Swiss National Museum. There is no contradiction between old and new, analogue and digital. It is all about to tell a story and get information across, in the most attractive way, in order to reach out for new visitors.

Did the Swiss National Museum do those steps of innovation consciously, one of the Chinese participants asked. Looking back to that year, it looks like conscious choice, Peter Krebs said. But in reality, those choices were triggered by different situations and powerful ideas. Nevertheless, the red thread was, how was to create newness and excitement.

Jörg Reckhenrich, member of the faculty CEIBS, Strategic Innovation, Berlin

Jörg Reckhenrich



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