creating the future together

A successful future requires solutions that have not been developed yet. Haufe Group’s answer to these challenges is called Co-Creation. This approach brings together Haufe's resources, expertise, and information with that of other leading companies.

Digitalization, global competition, disruption of established brands by new players in the sector who didn’t even exist yesterday. Companies are facing tremendous challenges that were never so profound or acute. Adapting quickly, rigorously, and successfully to this steady flood of new demands is a matter of company survival.

A successful future requires solutions that have not been developed yet. Haufe Group’s answer to these challenges is called Co-Creation. This approach brings together Haufe's resources, expertise, and information with that of other leading companies.

Haufe is currently working with three international leading brands in the automotive, telecommunications, and sports equipment sectors to create many iterations of solutions to their problems. Because regardless of how diverse the companies are and how much their brands differ, the challenges are the same. And the more and different perspectives, experiences, and requirements that are involved in the development of the tool, the better the solution.

In an open collaboration, mutual resource commitment and intensive exchange of information are part of the product. Through this unique pooling of know-how, People.OS, Haufe’s team-centered operating system, is continuously further developed and optimized.

With each co-creation process, all of the partners enter into exciting new territory. At the beginning, solution requirements and goals may seem vague or be totally unknown. Through the iterative development process – from building a hypothesis to creation, testing, and finally optimization – solutions are developed that really move all employees forward.

Solutions for People by People

Co-creation is more than a mutual commitment. It is a success-oriented partnership. The best possible solutions can only be achieved when all partners combine their experiences, strengths and key team members. These are the team members who will be implementing the solutions, so it is important they are involved in the development process.

Every three months, the companies send their participants to work together for several days in intensive workshops on themes that worry them: recruiting and communication with applicants; effective data use and general data science for internal collaboration with talent acquisition and talent management, learning and development; or even an employee-oriented, cross-departmental and cross-hierarchy innovation platform, which bring together ideas, employees, and company strategies. Clustered around partitions, white boards, and round tables, the participants discuss, write, discard, evaluate, and cluster together. Problems and painful points are discussed openly and without fear. Trust and transparency form the basis for collaborating towards innovation. These energetic sessions lead to strong results that determine the work for the following months.

Where focus goes, energy flows.
- Kelly Max , Chief Product & Innovation Officer People.OS

Test. Measure. Learn. That is the co-creation circle

The most important part of co-creation – the summits – are the regular, large round-table meetings. “Developing ideas, conception, and prototyping go hand-in-hand and are almost done simultaneously,” explains Kelly Max, Head of Co-Creation at Haufe. Between summits, Haufe’s developers convert the resulting solution approaches into concrete applications, which then are tested in the companies. Until the next summit, which functions like a sprint review. And the circle begins again.

This build-measure-learn concept is the centerpiece of the process. Participants work with prototypes and beta versions in their company and measure everything: How do users use this tool? How often do they use it? What do they do with it? How stable is the implementation? Does it work as planned, are there any difficulties? How satisfied are users with the tool?

The most important thing: “We always think of the end client or end user,” explains Kelly Max. That's why the co-creation process doesn’t (only) involve those who have signed the cooperation agreement, but also and especially those who apply the solution in everyday life: leaders and employees from different departments of the client company. The vision’s North Star, its central focus, is always clear to all participants. “Our motto is: Where focus goes, energy flows,” says Kelly Max.

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Outcome-focused innovation process

The foundation is a clear innovation process that deals with a vague idea differently from a sophisticated concept, and that supplies the creator of the idea with the right setup for the relevant stage of the innovation. This means that every level of innovation is focused towards the achievement of clearly defined criteria for reaching the next level. 

Target-oriented communication

Innovation must be target-oriented; otherwise it is not an innovation but sadly just a pipe dream. In People.OS, the majority of strategic challenges are disclosed by top management and made transparent to every staff member in the company. And who knows: maybe the next 100-million-dollar ideas will come from the doorman, and not from the Head of Future Success?

Mobilizing the organization

Each of these commercial challenges is described and visualized in detail. This delineates the framework for the desired commercial innovation, without excessively limiting the creativity of the staff members. Each employee of the company can now begin an innovation project, or mission, for this challenge, and develop it through the levels of the innovation process. The resources required for this - namely work hours, budget or helpers - will be provided according to the relevant innovation level.

Transparent innovation initiatives

Each mission is completely transparent within the company, i.e. all staff members, from executive management to operational staff, can find out about the contents, measurement criteria, remaining time and available budget of a mission at any time. This gives every employee the opportunity to bring their own skills to bear and apply to an ongoing innovation project.

The right staff member for the right initiative

The success of innovation projects is dependent on the skills of the participating staff members. People.OS knows the strengths of your employees through collected feedback, self-published profile data and position descriptions, and the platform proactively supports the involvement of the most suitable staff member in each mission. 

Clear goals keep the organization focused

In the Contributions component, your employees can set their own goals and carry out tasks that relate to the published innovation projects, and in this way contribute to the successful addressing of the innovation challenge in question. This serves to encourage the whole organization to make a crucial contribution to the innovation success of the company. This can have short- or long-term sustainable effects on the innovation culture of your company.

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