Innovation Approach

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Real Time Innovation

Thinking in new patterns

"Imagine the world is going to be wonderful, and it's your fault." We have given this saying as a guideline for our thinking about innovation processes. If we look to the past, innovations have always had the greatest impact when social and environmental changes have created uncertainty, crises or even a desire for something new. They can unleash a force that shapes our future and thus gives hope for a world worth living in.

Innovations are therefore not primarily useful because they promise quick profit with some technical innovation, but rather to bring good into the world. This is more necessary today than ever before, because society is facing major challenges at both the societal and ecological levels that cannot be solved with familiar approaches. The young generation sees great opportunities through startups to be able to realize themselves, their philosophy of life and their dreams. Established companies are being driven by rapid change, such as digitalization and globalization, to think about how they can remain successful in the long term and secure their existence through new approaches to innovation. All these impulses have also woken up the responsible politicians, who are now looking for strategies to remain competitive and prepare for the future by promoting innovations.

Tool content

  • 89 Real Time Innovation Success Pattern Cards
  • 1 Real Time Innovation Companion Booklet
  • 1 Real Time Innovation Canvas
  • 1 Real Time Innovation Leporello - phases of innovation, categories and success patterns
  • 1 Real Time Innovation Leporello - suggestions for using the tool

New perspective

Of course, with the new challenges, the understanding of innovation processes is also constantly evolving and adapting to the circumstances. Scientific findings by Schumpeter1, Chesbrough2 or Rogers3 and their representation in the form of popular approaches, such as Eff-ectuation4, Theory U5, Design Thinking6, Lean Running, Lean Scaling and Lean Startup7 or tools such as. Business Innovation Design8, Circular Design9, Blue Ocean Strategy10, Design a Better Business11, or Business Model Canvas12 help make innovation and its implementation accessible to a broad swath of society and rethink familiar challenges. All these approaches help to bring innovation into the world. The more we embrace such new principles and actively apply them, the better we can actively shape our society.

We want to add the innovation approach "Real Time Innovation", which complements and extends the existing tools by providing new perspectives on the process and resulting approaches. At the same time, the presented tool helps to connect existing approaches. We are convinced that this will enable us to promote an entrepreneurial and responsible way of thinking and approach among budding founders and intrapreneurs.

Principles for a holistic understanding

With the novel approach we want to deepen the following principles and thereby promote a holistic understanding and their practical application:

  • Innovation processes are influenced by the interplay of the personal characteristics and experiences of the responsible actors, the quality of the idea or innovation project itself, the operational execution of the innovation process, and the eco-system.
  • Implicit patterns of action interfere with the application of known methods and often influence the success within an innovation step more than the "correct" application of existing methods and tools.
  • Innovation processes that go beyond incremental improvements are subject to temporal dynamics that require new performance metrics.

Sample language & success factors

To uncover patterns of success and interrelationships in these areas, we used pattern language to extract implicit success factors and categorized them (Entrepreneurial personalities - Team and collaboration - Customers, stakeholders and eco-system - The truly best solution - Sustainability and responsibility - Time and space). In addition, we assigned the patterns to temporal phases in the innovation process that reflect the maturity of an innovation.

Each pattern, category and temporal phase are presented on a separate map. The maps make it possible to pick up individual patterns, link the patterns together or develop an entire innovation system. They inspire in a playful way, provide new insights in the implementation of innovations and lead us to a new culture of innovation. At the same time, we have used the experiences of founders, innovators, experts and existing insights and literature to derive explicit criteria and metrics for each phase for all categories, which are important for the successful development of the subsequent phases.

Thus, the tool can be used as a dynamic innovation radar that shows the current status of the project at any point in time. Together with the sample cards, which show ways to fulfill the criteria and parameters with the help of the radar, an innovation process can be systematically played out with the help of a case study, or an own project can be developed. Users learn about new and phase-related success factors, approaches, team and organizational structures. For complex, dynamic processes, the previously known success criteria and key figures are sometimes no longer usable or even counterproductive and often discourage forward-looking innovations.

Author team

  • Klaus Sailer - Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Wolfgang Stark - Steinbeis Transfer Center Innovation and Sustainable Leadership (
  • Christina Weber - Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Susanna Eder - Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Erik A.Leonavicius - REINVENTIS (

Cooperation project

The development of the "Real Time Innovation" tool was funded by the VDMA Bavaria ( and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology ( as part of the project "Industry 4.0 Bavaria - Production and Business Models of Tomorrow". The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) is Europe's largest industrial association. It represents the interests of the capital goods industry, which is strongly characterized by small and medium-sized enterprises, and sees itself as a platform on which its member companies can exchange information in networks about technical challenges, interdisciplinary issues and many other topics.


1Joseph Schumpeter: The Theory of Economic Development. An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credits, and the Business Cycle (1912-34), Cambridge Massachussets, 1934.

2Henry Chesbrough: Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2003

3Everett Rogers: The Dißusion of Innovations. The Free Press, New York. 2007

4Saras Sarasvathy, Stuart Read Eßectual Entrepreneurship, Routledge, 2011).

5 C. Otto Scharmer: Theory U - Leading from the Future as it Emerges, Berrett Köhler Publishers, 2009.

6 Richard Buchanan: Wicked Problems in Design Thinking, MIT Press, Design Issues, 1992

7 Ash Maurya: Running Lean, San Francisco, 2010; Eric Ries: Lean Startup, 2011;Steve Blank: The four steps to the epiphany, Third Edition Quad/Graphics 2007

8Jeßrey Tjendra: Business Innovation Design Framework(

9 IDEO and Ellen MacArthur Foundation: The Circular Design Guide (

10 W.C. Kim and Renee Mauborgne: The Blue Ocean Strategy, HBR 2004, p.71-79

11 Patrick Van Der Pijl and Justin Lokitz: "Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills, and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation" Wiley Publ, Hoboken, NJ, USA, 2016.

12 Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur: Business Model Generation, Patrick van der Pijl, 2010.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Sailer CEO

T: 089 1265 3211


Prof. Dr. Klaus Sailer is professor for Entrepreneurship at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and CEO of the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE). He is a co-founder and on the board of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and is also on the board of Munich Network. Klaus Sailer is spokesman for the think tank "Denkfabrik Gründerhochschulen"as well as part of the think tank HEInnovate.

Klaus Sailer holds a Ph.D. in physics from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and did his Ph.D. at the Research Center for Environment and Health. At Infineon AG, he was responsible for project management and marketing of new semiconductor technologies. In 2000, he co-founded a communication technologies company with partners in the area as its chairman. He successfully established this company as a major market player, and was able to realize his innovative ideas further with various start-up teams.

His main research topics are in innovation process, business modelling, networking, co-creation and societal innovations.

Lars Schepp New Venture Creation

T: 089 1265 3229


My mission in life is to enable people to shape the future in a sustainable way.

After graduating in Business Administration (Marketing, Sales Management, Organizational Development) at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg with co-creation brand project as a personal highlight, I spent more than 20 years building and developing FMCG brands internationally in an American corporation.

With the change from a large company to a company founder in the food sector in 2015, I have gone through and experienced all facets of founding, building and liquidating.

Until joining SCE in early December 2022, I was consulting various start ups/SMEs on strategy, business model, product development and co-developing a concept for a sustainable e-commerce platform. In parallel, I have been working on sustainable topics such as circular economy, transformation to sustainable business models and stewardship ownership.