Science Breakfast

Innovation from the Edge - How could we possibly solve the “Innovator’s Dilemma” through the Power of Diversity?; Hosted by SAP SE - Upon invitation only

Friday, 22 August 2014
07:00 - 09:00 hrs CEST


The book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen is describing how good companies fail because they keep focusing on things they are already doing well and they deliver higher performance in the dimensions that existing customers value. These companies are incapable to deliver disruptive innovation as they rely on proven practices and established processes. According to Prof. Robert Austin from the Copenhagen Business School, the 21st century value creation challenge is to produce value not by generating similar outputs efficiently, but by generating novel (different) outputs more valuable than their predecessors.

Differences that are potentially valuable arise from different perspectives, different ways of thinking, different ways of being.

SAP believes that diversity is a source of innovative strength that allows the company to better meet and understand the needs of its customers. Being dedicated to make the world run better, focusing on a diverse and inclusive environment, gives us the foundation to ensure that we deliver innovative solutions for challenges our customers and society as a whole are facing today and in the future. We value an open company culture and are proud of the unique contribution each individual makes at SAP. Our diverse human capital is the essence of our success. Thus, more than 67,000 employees from over 120 nationalities contribute and build with their uniqueness the sustainable success of SAP.

But is this enough? Not according to Christensen. So, can we create edges as source of innovation in the corporate world by employing people who think differently and who are not considered to be part of the mainstream movements? An important success criterion for SAP will be to bring 'outliers' into environments where they can spark innovation which will enhance the competitive edge of SAP. These ‘outliers’ must not be assimilated by the existing corporate culture and ways of thinking but carry a strong inherent value system that will evolutionize the company itself. Can talent from the edge change a company to embrace disruptive innovation? Is the power of diversity a way to solve “The Innovator’s Dilemma”?

Join us for the discussion of highest concern – because Innovation is the business challenge – for all current market leaders that want to stay ahead.