It can be heartbreaking: you spend years on an innovation, only for a competitor to emerge from out of the blue and launch before you with a better solution. This kind of scenario is becoming increasingly common, and is often characterized by deep-pocketed enterprises expanding into high-growth markets outside of their traditional business sectors. So, the question for innovators at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is: How do we ensure we become the surprising market leaders, and not the surprised also-rans?
This time round, Christian Götz stopped by the Innovation Center to fill us in on how the concept of agility can revolutionize the role of project management across a multitude of industries.
A successful entrepreneur, Innovation and Performance Consultant, and Economic and Business Engineer, Götz has plenty of experience in the project management sector. It is this experience that has led Götz and his colleague Dr. Marco Mevius to take the concept of agility from the world of software development, and adapt it into a strategy that can be applied to businesses.
The audience at our Innovators’ Club listened intently as Christian Götz expanded on what agility really means for organizations. According to Götz, innovation today is all about competition – not just between competitors from the same market, but also from different industries. The effort to achieve strategic dominance thus relies on working with speed and agility to find new solutions to existing problems.
For Götz, “AGILE” is an abbreviation of the qualities key to the survival of an organization. These include “A” for “adaptation”, as a means to facilitate interaction and make resources available at the right time and place, “G” for “goal attainment”, referring to the capability to set future goals and take decisions, “I” for “Integration”, relying on the shared beliefs, values, and principles of an organization, “L” for “Latency”, representing the maintenance of this system and the performance of these functions, and, finally, “E” for “Elements’ Evolution”, aiding each element of the system to improve itself. Citing the life science industry as an example, Götz explained how agility can transform older business models into dynamic strategies, well-adapted to the needs of contemporary markets. His reference to the insertion of digital systems into the traditional doctor-patient relationship shed light on how the life science ecosystem can be adapted to increase interaction between patients, doctors, and, consequently, the producers of medicines. This exchange can grant producers greater access to information, thus allowing customers to benefit from an expansion to the range of health services on offer.
We thank Christian Götz for teaching us how agility can bring us closer to the digital land of opportunity.