• Daniel Groos

My key takeaways from Lean Startup Summit Berlin

Daniel proposing his topic for the upcoming workshop
Daniel Groos at the UNCONFERENCE of Lean Startup Summit 2019

On Monday and Tuesday this week I had the pleasure to participate in the Lean Startup Summit Berlin. It was a great experience with many interesting and inspiring insights – and I want to share some of the main takeaways today.

Prior to the Lean Startup Summit happened the Unconference Day at ESMT in Berlin. An unconference is a very spontaneous format where participants pitch ideas which go through a selection process involving everyone, and afterwards groups go into workshops focusing on some of those ideas. I hosted a 45min Hack Session about “Sustainable Mobility”. We had a lot of fun and used Empathy Mapping, Tomahawk Ideation and Why – How – Wow prioritising for finding sustainable mobility solutions that could be implemented immediately. The group was very diverse with participants from India, Peru, Poland and Germany, and thus decided to foster public transportation for having a major impact. The group came up with the theory that the continued lobbying by the automotive manufacturers is one of the biggest challenges in this area.

On the same day I also participated in a discussion on how to measure innovation together with Wojciech Kalucki from Philip Morris International - a big challenge in huge organizations. My favourite idea was to count the number of decisions made by the innovation team vs. the number of decisions made by the responsible manager of the innovation project as an indicator. I like this!

The unconference was a great stage for so many cool topics and people full of energy for innovation. But I also experienced one negative surprise, when Sustainability Evangelist Nadim Choucair asked the 300-people-audience, who was familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Only about 20% raised their hand! For me that’s a bad result. I am convinced that innovation with a strong focus on sustainability is needed to succeed in the necessary renewal of our economy. Everybody should be familiar with the concepts of sustainability.

Daniel hosting a workshop
Workshop about the Transformation of the Middle Management

The day after, the official Lean Startup Summit Berlin was held in the “Alte Münze” in Berlin. The pure amount of interesting presentations, round tables, keynotes, panel talks and deep dive sessions made me want to be able to split into 4-5 Daniels in order to learn all the good stuff offered. Since that was not a real option, I selected sessions about measurement on innovations and the innovation engines of big corporations which interested me most. Risk Reduction by Alexander Osterwalder, a fireside chat with Eric Rees and a panel talk with the Heads of Innovation from Munic Re, Unilever and ING bank were full of important insights.

In between I myself held interactive sessions about the “transformation of the middle management”. We discussed intensively my key message, besides enablement, permission and communication, we need to include the motivation for fostering innovation in a team in the official evaluation processes of managers for really getting a commitment. More than 75 participants in three groups had a good time. Thank you everyone!

The whole day offered opportunities for connecting to other innovators, especially the diverse mix of participants of corporate innovators, innovation consultants and startups led to a 360° view on innovation and interesting takeaways.