Interview with Jan Dressler
How does a company become innovative?
Why has dawin already received several prizes for innovation?
JD: The innovation potential of dawin gmbh stems from the passion of the employees for the endless possibilities of creating something new with software. The opportunity to create something new is a great source of potential happiness. The psychologist and happiness researcher, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, once described when people feel happy at work. He defined three important criteria:
- The activity has important goals and immediate feedback
- The activity is considered a clear challenge, but one considered to be attainable
- It must be possible to become engrossed in the activity, to control it, and at the same time to lose all sense of time and space, as it were
Our software development projects almost always fulfil these happiness criteria.
Does this mean that your employees are happy and what has this to do with their ability to innovate?
JD: I think that we are a special company with special employees, and that we are happier in our work than many people in other companies. I am convinced that happy people are more creative, more optimistic and consequently more innovative.
What’s more, every colleague is a renowned expert in his or her field. Thanks to our size and the size of our clients’ projects, nobody can just fall back on their own expertise. They have to see themselves as a supporting pillar of the whole team. This creates a large space for creative ideas and solutions.
Are happy employees and good ideas essential for successful innovation in addition to a good corporate culture?
JD: Isn’t that enough? (laughing) The question is nonetheless justified. In the software business, there is rarely a lack of good ideas. The real bottleneck factors are usually a rapidly changing development and technological environment and the partially unpredictable development costs for a mature, fully functioning software solution.
What cannot be so easily seen from the outside at a glance are the fast technological changes that make solid strategic decisions difficult, and quickly lead to significant bad investments. Solid financial and risk management is therefore essential for any software company.
You can read the full interview on this in the 2nd edition of the dawin magazine.