Discover Germany | Issue 24 | March 2015

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Page 86

From the idea to the market Roland Haas supports companies with their innovation process Nowadays, in a fast-changing world innovation is one of the most important assets for a company`s future success. But sometimes there are things which hinder or block successful innovation in a company: unclear objectives, different opinions across functions, or simply lack of knowledge or expertise. TEXT: JESSICA POMMER | PHOTOS: HAAS PROJEKTCONSULTING

This is where Roland Haas supports a business to thrive. Roland Haas has over 15 years’ experience as a management consultant focussing on innovation. He has an educational background in engineering and received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, where he still is a regular lecturer.Thus Haas is upto-date on the latest research about innovation and can integrate this knowledge in his day-to-day work. Haas mainly deals with industrial clients. Innovation is a complex process. When new strategic business areas are opened up or ideas are developed, unknown territory is entered. For an innovation project to be successful two challenges have to be mastered: Externally, find the right markets and create excitement amongst target cus-

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tomers. Internally, get a critical mass of committed people behind the project. ”My task is to orchestrate the team in this context until success is achieved,”says Haas. One of his clients is a large company, which produces power tools. The project required challenging one of the core products. Ralf Westerheide, Head Materials Research at Hilti, summarizes: ”Roland Haas organized a specific workshop in which our company team was animated to radically overthink our core product. Haas successfully prevented superfluous discussions, put the focus on the customer’s needs and pushed the participants out of their comfort zone. His method proved to be successful as it resulted in an intensive workout that produced some radical and most promising new prototypes.”

Above: Roland Haas

Market success is often based on the early stage of idea generation. The team members’ knowledge, interests and goals have to be integrated and balanced. Through his membership in the five-is innovation consulting network Roland Haas has access to a new strategic tool for coaching early stage innovation: the Innovation Project Canvas. Vague ideas are thus transformed into exciting concepts and reasonable plans. ”In the end I regard my mission accomplished when I have created and guided lean, efficient and reliable projects that yield products the market wants, and that pay off for innovative companies,” concludes Haas.