BurdaForward
27/03/2017

The core of success

BurdaForward
27/03/2017

The core of success

The digital transformation process is presenting the media industry not only with strategic challenges, but also with structural and organizational challenges. In a single-format event entitled “Creative Company – Innovation as a Success Factor for Media Companies”, the people behind the “Medientage” (Media Days) asked German broadcasters and publishers about innovative capabilities and what form best practice processes could take.

BurdaForward CEO Oliver Eckert used specific examples to show how his company develops and embodies innovation. 

Requirements for a culture of innovation

  1. Separation from existing business to provide sufficient freedom to experiment
  2. Few, flat hierarchies to strengthen cross-department and cross-function networks
  3. A corporate culture of transparency, openness and entrepreneurship

Learning from mistakes

Oliver Eckert used the “Learning Lunch” and “Fuck-up Night” formats as examples of how BurdaForward embodies the culture of networking and mistakes. Employees regularly discuss cross-department topics and show what they have learned from mistakes. 

“Attack everything”

Eckert emphasized that for innovation to be implemented throughout the company, it must always be driven by the people at the top: “We on the management board must be the innovation managers”, he said. In addition, everything must be questioned and attacked – both in products and business models and in the organization. “Otherwise, if doubts arise, the old methods will be maintained and protected and valuable innovations will fall by the wayside.”

The urge to understand people’s everyday lives is the core of success. “We watch people on the street, on public transport, in the office – and ask what we can do for them.” User labs have also been installed in all BurdaForward locations so that new products can be tested at an early stage. 

Its success is proving Eckert right: BurdaForward is growing strongly. It now has more than 500 employees at its Munich site alone – and this figure is rising.

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