This week InnovationManagement spoke with Johann Füller, Assistant Professor at Innsbruck and CEO of Hyve AG, an innovation and community company. Read more about why he thinks innovation management itself needs some innovation and why “social innovation“ will be one of the big topics in the near future.

What is innovation management to you?

For me innovation management means to ensure the success of new services, products and business offerings. It covers the organization, processes, culture, people, technology and all other parts that make successful innovations happen. Innovation management covers all aspects of developing and successfully marketing new products. It starts with the identification of needs, generation of ideas, development and modification of concepts, elaboration of prototypes, design of products as well as market launch and growth. Currently, it is the innovation management itself that needs some innovation as existing methods, processes and structure do not reflect the new needs triggered through the social media revolution. Innovation management 2.0 to me means a more open, community-like approach.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

For me, being creative and coming up with new solutions and innovations in collaboration with very talented people from various backgrounds is very satisfying. I cannot imagine a better job at all. Actually, it is not a job it is the task and activity, I love to do.

And the most frustrating parts?

I hate politics and playing games! Sometimes, especially in big companies, a lot of energy is wasted because it is used for discussions and arguments about personal benefits and power. Not all efforts are related to the innovation itself and to the success of the project. However, one has to accept that it is important to establish and build innovative capacities within the company first, before one can focus on the content, the generation of innovations.

What’s your next big challenge?

From my perspective “social innovation“ will be one of the big topics within the next decades. That means how we can use our creativity, knowledge, and wisdom of the crowd in order to deal with the fundamental problems of our society such as ageing, poverty, hunger, natural disasters, energy and resource scarcities, and security in order to increase and ensure our wealth and standards of living.

About Johann Füller

Johann is CEO of Hyve AG, an innovation and community company, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Innsbruck University School of Management, and Research Affiliate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In line with his research focus, he regularly gives guest lectures and keynotes about open innovation and the utilization of online communities. Johann published more than 60 articles in journals such as California Management Review, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, Harvard Business Manager, Technovation, and others. His research explores innovation and co-creation communities from multiple perspectives. As CEO of HYVE AG, Johann consults top corporations with the development of customer-centred innovations as well as community and crowdsourcing initiatives.