“Large companies have no excuse not to start an innovation program.”


An interview with iX360 about the meaning of innovation, getting companies started, and the importance of a start-up spirit (blog from March 2020) 

In today’s interview, we had a chat with Felix Uitz and Ronald Tingl from iX360 about their collaborations with rready. iX360 offers a 360° innovation experience from ideation to deep dives to product management. We spoke to them about their work with Kickbox by rready and how it provides an entry point for many organizations to kickstart their innovation journey. 


Since it’s the backbone of both your and rready’s work, let’s start with the term innovation. What does it mean to each of you?


Ronald: In the past, my specialism was new growth segments. So rather than finding a market for a specific product, it was my job to find new growth segments and then develop products to suit them. So, I was always used to thinking in different ways to the status quo. At the same time, I was always looking for ways to change things up, which is, for me, one way to describe innovation. And it was precisely this search for change and variety that led me down the innovation path. Finally, it led me to the 360 Innovation Lab, where I came to work with Felix Uitz. 


Felix: While I started my professional path as a software developer, I later moved into engineering, where I was bombarded with problems, which I had to solve. For me, that is innovation, attempting to solve a problem in the most creative and sometimes surprising way. This gave me a very good foundation on the technical side, so I decided to study Innovation Management to understand the economic aspects better. This enabled me to take my passion for creative problem solving into the B2B and then B2C markets. In addition, this showed me a new side of innovation, as customers are great at giving direct feedback – either they buy something, or they don’t.



How did the collaboration between iX360 and rready come about?


Ronald: At iX360, we offer a wide range of solutions for services in relation to innovation management with all-around boutique solutions for every step of the innovation journey – from ideation through to product management. We provide all tools they need to find solutions to an organization’s problems, then plan and implement them. We soon noticed that for certain steps on the innovation journey, there were already well-established, comprehensive solutions that were tried and tested. 


One of our clients was explicitly looking for an intrapreneurship solution. They were at a point where they weren’t ready for an entirely tailor-made solution but knew which direction they wanted to go. We had heard of the Adobe Kickbox and, after a little research, came across KICKBOX (as it was called at the time). So we got in touch, and I must say that the whole thing just went really smoothly from there. They replied to our inquiries right away and were fully engaged from day one. They immediately understood our needs and got on board when presenting the solution to our client. And we hadn’t known each other for very long at all. So that was an excellent start and something I think is very important in this kind of work.


Felix: Exactly, and the other important point is that such off-the-shelf solutions also lower the barrier to entry for lots of companies. It enables them to save time and money compared to a boutique solution. And nonetheless, we quickly recognized that Kickbox by rready is a very solid, well-thought-out system that has been tried and tested. The organization knows that the system works and can hit the ground running. The combination of these factors means large companies have no excuse not to start an innovation program.



What else sets rready apart from other innovations solutions?


Felix: They have always had that start-up spirit, and the passion behind Kickbox by rready was palpable from the very start and still is. Furthermore, the team at rready has always thought in solutions rather than problems.


Ronald: Yes, that’s true. It is precisely this start-up mentality that is so well-received by our clients. They also walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. The fact that they had used this process to build up Swisscom Kickbox internally is something that really appeals to clients because it not only proves the system works but shows that they really know what they’re talking about. 


Another important point is that Kickbox by rready speaks to many the requirements that large corporations have when it comes to innovation. Intrapreneurship is a major trend at present. Kickbox is scalable and reusable and requires little support from inside of the company. Finally, it gets the employees involved. This not only opens up the pool of potential ideas, but also helps corporations in terms of employer development. 



That’s a great point. What other – perhaps less expected – advantages do you see in Kickbox by rready?


Felix: As Ronald mentioned, employee development is a key aspect here. In my experience, Kickbox by rready is one of the only tools that provides a practical approach to employee development in a well-rounded and, importantly, believable way. Not only does Kickbox allow organizations to identify high-potential employees, but it also contributes to their development. Since high-potential development programs are often costly initiatives run by HR, this takes a huge amount of pressure off their shoulders too.


Ronald: I agree entirely. And although these kinds of benefits might be difficult to put in numbers, in our experience, companies always get more out of it than they put it. So the number of new products or viable ideas that come out at the end isn’t the most only aspect to consider; these more intangible factors are just as valuable. 


Felix: Yes, there are also the cultural changes that such bottom-up programs can affect. These are invaluable and almost come as a bonus with a program like rready Kickbox. The program really can impact business in a multitude of ways.


Ronald: Furthermore, we can see how the team at rready after resting on their laurels, they’ve continued develop and improve their products ever since we started working together. They’re moving in the right direction and have certainly earned their place in this universe of innovation and have the stuff to stand up to the competition in the broader market. I look forward to seeing how they take their start-up mindset into this exciting new phase for rready.