What exactly does the innovation team do and who are all part of it? Koen Sterken and Dennis Langenhuijsen, two of the six faces behind the innovation team, are happy to tell you more about it. Firstly, let's introduce these men to you:
Besides Dennis and Koen, Guy Bruens, Frank Stege, Inge Vanhomwegen and Maurice van Abeelen are also part of the innovation team, which makes it a versatile and varied team. Everyone plays a different role in his or her daily work, and therefore everyone views different themes differently. In addition, the years worked at Infoland within this team also differ considerably, namely from 1 year to 22 years. So it’s a nice mix!
Why was the innovation team set up?
“We have been doing the same thing at Infoland for a long time, namely the providing of a quality management system,” says Koen. "And we’re good at it," adds Dennis. “The aim of the innovation team is therefore not to focus on the current Infoland products. The product development team is already busy with making improvements. But there is need for the expandment of our portfolio to possible other modules, products or services. Also because we want to be sustainable towards the future and focussing on only one area is too dangerous for that.”
That is why the innovation team was introduced in the summer of 2019. The team meets monthly to critically examine important topics and trends which play a role in the market. “We examine whether it is possible to translate this per topic or trend into a new application for Infoland. If we consider this possible, we will pass it on to a project group. If there is little or no potential, then we conclude that it is not for us and we move on to the next topic.” says Dennis.
But how do you get to the topics that the team will cover?
“The input comes from across the organization, including the annual innovation day,” says Koen. "But because this day only takes place once a year, and we want to be involved in innovation all year round, it is our job to keep the innovation engine running continuously for everyone." Dennis adds: “That is why we often try to stimulate the Infolanders to think about innovation. For example, I sometimes ask the people in my team (Sales) whether they have picked up interesting topics via customers, which we can then investigate with the innovation team. In addition, we also keep a close eye on the market and the competition.”
To what extent do Infoland's customers play a role in this innovation process?
“Our customers are not actively involved in the innovations we research. The focus in this process is not on our current products, where we find their feedback very important, because they know a lot about it. ” Dennis adds: “However, they are an important source of information for us. If we know where our customers want to be in five years' time and which topics are important in this process, we can find valuable insights for us to consider.
How do you like being part of the team?
"We like it very much," say the men in unison. “You can look at the company in a different (out-of-the-box) way and that is cool. I also think it is a token of appreciation that they have asked me to for this position. I am challenged because of this this and I really appreciate that.” says Koen. Dennis in turn says: “I am very functional and practical when it comes to cusotmers in my daily work. It’s often not very creative and thanks to the innovation team I can now let my creative mind run free. I like the variety. In addition, it is very cool that after 5 months of service I have already won the confidence to be a part of this team. That they selected me is a compliment and a certain token of appreciation.”
Do you have any questions to Koen and / or Dennis regarding the above interview?
Feel free to ask them below. They will respond to your question personally.
Ps. We are also very curious about how your organization deals with innovation.
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