My sons curiosity woke me up at 5 am today. And I love it, not the 5 am wake up but the curiosity kids do have. And the curiosity is on such a level that also speed is defined in a different way. Not next week, not tomorrow, NOW! That’s how kids feed their curiosity. Settling the curiosity by spontaneity and by finding out immediately not postpone it to later. Isn´t that be a great blueprint for R&D? Not in general of course but shouldn´t we spend a certain amount of time to dive into new thoughts or impulses received. Even so they might look too much out of the box on the first glance. Many disruptive ideas have been generated out of spontaneous ideas which have been driven further.
Today I would like to talk about experiences that have shaped my professional career. One of the most formative situations was a situation at which we were not able to produce an important product during several month and thus no longer supply it to our customers. As you can imagine, this led to an extremely big challenge for us and our customers. At that time, I was in daily contact with customers as a business development manager. What did I learn from this time? I learned how important it is to put the customer at the center of all activities! Our managing team at that time made sure that we gave the greatest possible transparency; both internally and externally. This required intensive communication and coordination. We ensured that our customers were informed about every progress in the necessary measures and derived schedules for getting back into operation. Alternative products were developed at top speed in close cooperation with our customers, and even if they were only compromise solutions, they helped to bridge the time gap. After several months we were able to get back into operation. Many believed that we would lose many customers, but it turned out that this was not the case. Personally, I could see that many customer relationships had even improved. This experience also greatly strengthened my confidence in the extraordinary capabilities of our great Evonik team.