Magnus Penker, Special Guest of IX edition „Executive Innovation Forum”, 17 June, Sheraton Grand Warsaw, founder of the Innovation360: Turning innovation into a practice

Magnus Penker, Special Guest of IX edition „Executive Innovation Forum”, 17 June, Sheraton Grand Warsaw, founder of the Innovation360: Turning innovation into a practice

What led you to found Innovation360 Group and implement innovative solutions? What are the foundations on which your organization is built?

I started the Innovation360 group because we and I saw a tremendous need for turning innovation into a science and a practice and not just the serendipity. And the reason why innovation management is important is that that’s the only way to cope with uncertainty and with dramatic change, and from time to time, we will see that as human species and as humankind. So that’s why it’s very important to learn to cope with that, and that’s also why we started Innovation360 from the beginning. Our vision is to contribute, and actually solve one of the UN sustainability goals.  Not by ourselves, but by contributing with methods, data, and tools for information management, sustainability, transformation. To crack at least one of those goals we provide tools, data, and methods through licensed practitioners all over the world. Direct to clients and via licensed practitioners, typically working for consultancy firms around the globe or universities or internal departments can also be accredited.

Change is happening fast and innovation is a sign of our times. Which technologies do you think will be crucial in the digitalization of businesses in the near future?

Well, I would argue and say that digitalization is just a small portion of what technology means and what we see. I would say what’s really a game-changer is electrification, way more than digitalization. It impacts everything, infrastructure, production, business models, and of course, digitalization is important, but that is not as important as the impact that electrification will have. Electrification will change society completely. The infrastructure, how we transport, how we consume, how we produce. I would also say that artificial intelligence is a game-changer. You might say that AI itis digitalization – but that depends on what you put in that concept. For me, digitalization means that you do something digital. And that’s not the big game changer as electrification. Electrification is about to redistribute to recreate the energy, a complete new world. To do less with more.

Are new technologies changing the rules of leadership? What are the key challenges for leaders in the mobile era, where the most important resources are human minds, efficient information flow and innovation?

If it changed the rules of leadership, yeah, it does. But talking about the mobile era is not of any interest. We’re talking about game-changers,  we’re talking about electrification that is driving the change of all supply, how we live our lives, and artificial intelligence redefining what a job is. And I would say that it impacts leadership. It’s not about millennials, or it’s not about what young people necessarily want, it’s about being a good leader and have good judgment. We need more good judgments today than before. There are more possiblies, and it goes much faster. So good judgment, empathy, inclusiveness, that’s a few of the really important characteristics, also allow people to experiment, to fail, to redo again, be more open minded and inclusive.

Technological progress always means changes in the demand for services or products. Will technology make currently existing professions start to disappear and be replaced by professions based on artificial intelligence?

Technology is not always pushing the services and products; it is also changing the way of working with processors, production, procurement, business models. It is actually changing more or less everything. And then you ask if professionals can be replaced by artificial intelligence. Of course, but not their creativity.

As new technologies evolve, so do the dangers multiply. Are we facing an increase in attacks and fraud? How can we fight it?

Yes, and that has been obvious for quite some time, and that always comes with new possibilities. It’s everything from using it for your own purpose to protect yourself from being revealed like with the EncroChat. But also the other way around, how you can take advantage.  The rivalry it’s among the states, it’s among the police and criminals, it’s among companies, most likely, governments, too. So, yeah, we need to be more aware, more possibilities both for doing good and doing bad.

In recent months, new technologies have saved us – many companies have survived by being able to leverage digital solutions. What will pandemic times change in organizations?

Most likely, we see that we need to be more innovative, learn from mistakes, have less fear of failure. To link things to the higher purpose, to do things because it’s good or it makes creates some value. Not just running around, being busy by being busy. Running around and do good and create value instead. So I think that what will be changed? Is that we going to focus on learning insights, value, accepting failure as a part of the learning curve?

 Why, to quote your latest book, the leader of an innovative company shouldn’t listen to their customers? Could you briefly outline what revolutionary management methods we can learn from “Play Bold”?

So in my book, Play Bold I talk about listening to your customers, and that’s one of many things that people tend to ask me about one. Well, let’s put it this way. Before iPhone one, would you ask for an iPhone one? Most likely not. Before any computer, would you ask for a computer? Most likely not. Before the car, the automobile, would you like to have one? Well, you would most likely think about horse and wagon. So, the history is repeating itself. That things become normal. Anything from the computer, the telephone, to a smartphone, to a car, to a train, to an airplane. We always tend to forget the past. So instead, you should observe behavior, what people truly want, what they do, and based on that. You can make assumptions and tests, but if you run out and ask people what they want, they most likely don’t know that. So that’s the point. So go out to play bold, everybody.


Play Bold: How to Win the Business Game through Creative Destruction ”available here, read on!


Magnus Penker

Internationally-renowned thought leader on innovation, sustainability, and business transformation. He is a speaker in prestigious global forums and events, such as – The Global
Peter Drucker Forum, top-ranked international business and design schools, a variety of associations, and some of the world’s largest companies. Mr. Penker is the author of the book Play Bold and a 5 Volume Series on Business Innovation titled The Complete Guide to Business Innovation and is contributing as an editor at the International Journal of Innovation Science.
He has been honored with the Business Worldwide Magazine award as the ‘Most Innovative CEO Sweden 2016’ and appointed as a Global Top 100 CEO by CEO Monthly year 2018. Additionally. For the past 10 years, he has used his practical and theoretical insights to develop InnoSurvey®.

Today, Mr. Penker is the CEO and Founder of the Innovation360 Group, which is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and in New York,
USA. Through his best-selling American books on digitization and IT engineering and his more than 20 years of experience as a management consultant and business leader, Mr. Penker inspires leaders to find a
new way of thinking and organizing to stay on top.

Mr. Penker has a B.Sc. in Computer Science (CTH, Sweden) and an MBA from the Henley Business
School, England.

Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska

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