Didem about maihiro's Think Tank
Creative force at maihiro
Didem, would you mind briefly introducing yourself?
Didem: I’m currently working in the Pre-sales department, supporting the Solution Sales team in acquiring new customers and obtaining new commissions from customers we already have.
My responsibilities include preparing and conducting (scoping) workshops and demos, creating implementation-project quotations, editing request-for-proposal documents, and taking part in trade fairs – I definitely never get bored. :)
These days, nearly everyone is “innovative” – at least according to many companies’ descriptions of themselves on their websites. In your opinion, is maihiro innovative?
Didem: With its new products on the market and the establishment of a dedicated Think Tank team for generating and developing new ideas – in my opinion, maihiro is definitely innovative.
But first of all we need to define what “innovation” means. Providing healthy snacks in the reception area or installing a new humidifier in our office can also be innovative actions (see Facebook post: https://goo.gl/n9nq2s).
For me, innovation means being open to new ideas, consulting approaches, and products. Furthermore, innovation is creatively developing new “inventions” for a product or service through a variety of “unusual” approaches to meet a need or solve a problem.
In this setting, all ideas from maihiro employees are listened to, then further developed in “mai-Idea” sessions on a regular basis. I’m familiar with many companies where idea management is unfortunately not a given.
What exactly is the maihiro Think Tank?
Didem: Ideas from maihiro employees have always been collected, but unfortunately, there was no interdisciplinary team of consultants and developers available to manage the pool of ideas on a regular basis.
Ideas were described in a central, online location, which is also where they were made available. Our goal with Think Tank is not only to describe ideas, but also to encourage them. The Think Tank team regularly supports the development of ideas by asking follow-up questions and actively managing feedback.
My colleagues on the Think Tank team frequently remind me to update my ideas; in doing so, they’re also encouraging development so that nothing falls by the wayside.
In my experience, the best environment for me to develop my ideas is a relaxed and remote one. Nature especially, and far away from daily life and the work environment, is a good place to work on cool ideas.
You were one of the lucky creative minds to be given the opportunity to travel to Mallorca – how did that come about? What was your starting idea, and how did you come up with it?
Didem: We sent in email applications to participate in the Think Tank. The only criterion for the application was: Be creative!
The trip to Mallorca was only revealed to us during the kick-off meeting – nobody knew about it beforehand. I didn’t present a concrete idea, but rather composed a poem with a cool layout on the topic of why I should be there.
Did the Think Tank meet your expectations? What did you take away from the weekend in Mallorca?
Didem: My expectations were met, and I was astonished by how many ideas we created and qualified further within the space of three days.
It was very helpful to exchange ideas with my colleagues in the interdisciplinary team, and to evaluate my own ideas from other perspectives and gain new insight into them.
I took away the impression that it’s not the quality of ideas that is decisive at first glance, but rather the quantity. It’s only in the next step of the process that ideas are evaluated in terms of feasibility using different approaches such as the Walt Disney method.
Thank you for this interview about Think Tank, Didem!