Off to the garage! Google the term “innovation” and you’ll get about 500 million hits. There are technical innovations. Economic innovations. Social innovations. Some change the world. Some don’t. Some can be the key to a company’s success. Some are just buzzwords. According to Fredmund Malik, a leading management theorist, there is too much hype around innovation. And too little professionalism.
Why? According to Malik, what constitutes an innovation is misunderstood. It’s not that there aren’t any innovative ideas. There are. Constantly. The misunderstanding lies in how ideas are prevented from becoming innovations. They don’t become innovations by fiat. They need a system that targets them and opens up a company’s culture. And all the more so today.
Digitization is fueling innovation in the automotive industry. And Porsche’s new Digital GmbH provides the aforementioned system. The idea is to connect Porsche with tomorrow’s technologies today, and to develop new business models. “Innovations are the future,” says Porsche CEO Oliver Blume in an interview with Christophorus.
Does Porsche need innovations? Or does an innovative automotive industry need Porsche? Let’s put it this way: with an extremely powerful turbocharged four-cylinder rear-axle engine, an exhaust energy-recovery system, the latest lithiumion battery feeding power to an additional electric motor on the front axle, and complex hybrid management, the world champion assembly in the 919 Hybrid (with only 2,000 cubic centimeters of displacement) is not only the most efficient drive system that Porsche has ever built. It is also revolutionizing endurance racing. And—as an aside—it’s making Formula One look obsolete. The Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are adopting technical elements from these cars. Such as the cylinder spacing. The short-stroke design. The gasoline direct injection. Which means our innovations for Le Mans are also coming to your driveways.
In light of all that, why dedicate even more time and resources to innovation? Because the way in which companies generate ideas and put them into practice has changed radically. Because Porsche seeks to live, rather than have, a culture of innovation. And because our goal is to be the most innovative carmaker in the world.
Porsche has more than 24,000 employees. Around 5,500 of them work at the Weissach Development Center. True, that’s rather a lot of people for a garage. But sometimes, at least, they should feel like they’re in one.
Wherever you have come from, wherever you are going, our Christophorus will accompany you.