The Greek philosopher Heraclitus already stated in 500 BC that nothing is as constant as change. He would probably never have dreamed that this statement might be more relevant today than ever before. Change is a constant and therefore at all times one of those great and comprehensive challenges with which not only every being, but also societies and organisations have to deal.
At the same time, this change has increased in number. Although each generation may be confronted with its own changes and challenges, today we live in a time of increasing volatility and unpredictability. Change is no longer the exception, but rather the rule. With a multitude of profound political, social and political ruptures, accompanied by a multitude of disruptive inventions and insights, the ability to respond adequately to these changes is more necessary than ever.
This is why companies must also be able to create something new. The ability and willingness to innovate is one of the most important characteristics for companies to be able to react to the radical change. In order to be a sustainable response to disruptive change, however, these innovations must not be incremental, but must also be disruptive and radical. Joseph A. Schumpeter already understood innovation as a radical (re)shaping of an existing in a “process of creative destruction”. It must be possible to determine the value and benefit of innovations by companies; they must be value-creating and value-creating contributions. These ideas that have become reality not only represent the “InnovationsQualität” (Faix et al. 2014) of a company, but also enable the company to secure its own competitiveness.
In times of disorientation and uncertainty, which the ever-present change seems to leave behind, it is not only the will and ability that are needed to create something new. It also requires an idea of what a future of the new can look like. For companies, this means in concrete terms that the many and varied changes also and primarily affect the managers who have to deal with these changes. Creative personalities are needed who are able to radically question previous processes and thus enable the company to change quickly and successfully. It therefore requires a form of leadership in which visionary and radical ideas for the future become a value-adding and sustainable present. At the same time, increasing technical networking also promotes the networking of ideas and thoughts: since constant change can be described not only as omnipresent, but also as profound, companies are not alone in the challenges associated with it. This promotes the professional cooperation of individual entrepreneurs with the aim of creating strategies and procedures to make the possibilities of radical and disruptive innovations usable and socially accessible. This culture of open science in turn makes it possible to generate new ideas and thus make new innovations possible by building networks among each other. Successful companies develop their innovations in innovation units that are affiliated with the company but independent of it. These offer the possibility to use the already accumulated know-how, but at the same time to work in a relatively independent unit, which enables a radical questioning and a future-oriented, sustainable shaping of the entrepreneurial challenges.