In the face of the challenges of this time, companies are continuously looking for innovative answers and solutions. In doing so, they usually fall back on experiences and proven strategies from the past and present. However, highly dynamic global markets, rapidly changing framework conditions and different customer needs demand agile as well as creative-strategic processes. Thus, the Futures Thinking method is increasingly reaching German companies.
As part of the preparation of an innovation workshop on the topic of Futures Thinking, we supported GEA Bischoff GmbH with cross-organisational mentoring in the development of content and formative work. Our task? To professionally support Dr Ulrich Schwarz, Director Application Development and Technology Support and Cora Hemken, Engineer for Research and Development at GEA Bischoff GmbH in planning a one-and-a-half-day workshop on the future of gas cleaning. By giving a presentation on Futures Thinking as part of the workshop, we provided an additional impetus from outside. The aim of the workshop was not only to develop concrete approaches and ideas, but also to create awareness for interdisciplinary and agile ways of working.
The goal of the innovation workshop was defined together.
The focus was on the topics of innovation and futures thinking. The challenge? Participants without design knowledge or experience in interactive formats should also be able to engage in the process, with the possibility of working on problems using appropriately prepared creative, collaborative working methods.
The collaboration worked particularly well because Dr Ulrich Schwarz and Cora Hemken were already open to an agile way of working and the appropriate methods. In addition, the needs of the workshop participants were very well assessed. On this basis, we chose a method together. In this way, we created suitable framework conditions to enable an optimal working environment for intensive workshop days.
In several meetings, we provided detailed feedback on the content development of the workshop agenda.
Suitable methods (check-in and check-out, warm-up, brainstorming, dot voting, pre-mortem) as well as frameworks (lighthouse canvas, ideas roadmap, ideas shopping card) were added to the agenda and provided. In addition, we provided a suitable workshop material list as well as useful tips for facilitation and further preparation.
The workshop took place at GEA Bischoff GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. denkwerk started with an impulse lecture on Futures Thinking. This not only provided a good introduction to the coming workshop days, but also brought the group of participants up to speed. In addition, there was the opportunity to ask our expert on the spot questions about the topic. This gave the group the confidence and security to actively participate in the workshop days.
Through the intensive preparation together with GEA Bischoff GmbH and the expertise and support of denkwerk, the workshop group developed interesting ideas and approaches. In addition to the interdisciplinary work, the workshop motivated the participants and thus led to the desired success.
GEA Group is one of the world's largest system suppliers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. After its foundation as a metal trading company in 1881, the business model has changed significantly. For some time now, employees of this forward-looking company have been dealing with innovation and future topics. The business unit of GEA Bischoff GmbH, which offers, among other things, industrial waste gas purification systems, faces the current and future challenges of its industry in regular workshops. GEA Group's portfolio includes machines and plants as well as sophisticated process technology, components and comprehensive services. GEA Group solutions help to make production processes increasingly sustainable and efficient in a wide range of industries worldwide. Today, GEA serves its customers through five divisions with more than 18,000 employees in 62 countries. With its wide-ranging processing expertise and solutions, GEA Group supports its customers in a targeted and responsible manner.