Eileen Mandir

Protect the idea! - Avoiding »Innovation theatre«

2020-10 • Organizational Design, Service Design, Game Design, Future of Work
Cover photo
Illustration of scenario of democratic decision making


We find ourselves in times of hyper-change, in which many businesses or industries face the challenge of reinventing themselves for the digital platform economy. The pressure to be innovative has caused many companies to invest in innovation labs, implement design thinking methods, or hoast regular hackathons. Yet, the impact of all these measures remains “innovation theatre” in most cases. Why is it so hard to reproduce silicon valley culture and practices in Germany? Is that even where we should be looking? How does the organization, with its culture, processes, and structure, influence if innovative ideas make it to the market or are managed to death before they see daylight?

In this course, students are asked to explore how organizations impact how we generate, but more importantly, protect ideas during testing, decision making, and implementation. How can organizations be designed to deliver big innovations but also give room for small everyday ideas?

HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd
Master Strategic, 2. Semester
Fall 2020
Dr. Eileen Mandir
Josh Cornau, Martin Ehlers, Anna Graf, Emily Jäger, Carina Kraus, Mike Lehmann, Melanie Rieß, Julia Schmitt, Marius Schnabel, Inga Wachter, Jessica Zürn
Raphael Reimann (move lab), Tilman Häuser (Daimler AG), Timo Eneam (Daimler AG), Sandra Alexandre-Aimé (Daimler AG), Laura Dittscheid (door2door GmbH)

Selected student projects