03-Feb-2016 Düsseldorf / Germany
What’s that job?
Electronic Data Interchange Consultant, Computer Emergency Response Manager, Principal Architect for Business Intelligence – many job titles are less than explicit nowadays. Could you describe exactly what a Contract Manufacturing Supply Planner does, for example? In our article series, “What’s that job?”, we want to let you in on a few secrets and present some of the more unusual professions at Henkel.
What’s an International Foresight and Innovation Manager?
Jens Bode has been at Henkel since 1984 and now works as “International Foresight and Innovation Manager” in the Laundry and Home Care business unit. He created his job title himself – ditto for the job description. By now, he’s used to people not understanding it right away.
“I’m an internal setter of impulses for external trends and sources of inspiration,” says Bode, describing his position. His mission is to collect ideas and make them available to the company as a source of inspiration for future innovations. That’s why he’s on the move a lot: on business trips, at trade fairs, attending conferences or visiting customers and consumers directly. New ideas await him at every turn, and can range from the surface of a piece of furniture to the creative design of a line of chocolates. “If you look around with curious eyes and an open mind, you’ll find everything you need to develop something new. Your ‘only’ remaining task will be to imagine untapped combinations for the things you found,” Bode explains. “My role is to identify and observe these trends, and then introduce them into the company.”
Bode then processes his ideas for the subsequent creative development cycle, and the Marketing department is ultimately responsible for the final concepts. In addition to his search for inspiration, he helps design innovation processes, runs workshops and holds talks within the company and outside of it. Although Bode has a great deal of diversity in his job and gets to travel to lots of different places, there is one thing that consistently stays the same: He always sums up his suggestions for new innovations on one A4 page, tops.