Personal Stories

  • Hi, my name is Jan.
    I am an Innovation Strategist.

    I accompany organizations in their learning processes
    towards innovation as a discipline.

    I fall for »next hidden champions«: underestimated companies which have the
    potential to disrupt markets while creating genuine value with a positive ecological and societal impact.

    More about me ...
  • Hi, my name is Jan.
    I am also a Researcher on Innovation Methodologies.

    I examine the impact of design thinking on organizations worldwide.

    The design thinking methodology has gained lots of traction the last years. But why is it, that some companies are highly successful in implementing it, while others are failing in spectacular manners? I believe the answer to this question is the key to sustainable value creation and continuous innovation.

    Our recent study on design thinking adoption
  • Who I Am

    Back in the days I used to call myself a 'user value evangelist'. But my clients at my company co:dify know me as an 'innovation strategist'. Mostly I advise and train organizations in design/empathy-driven strategic business planning. What that means? Well, you better ask me in person. As a start try to imagine these roles in one single person ...

    • Strategy Consultant

      With my background in interaction design, social sciences and business studies, I advise companies at the interface of brand building and innovation. Usually it's on branded Ux, customer intimacy and the development of design-driven innovation capabilities.

    • Design Researcher

      I'm part of a research team which examines the worldwide impact of Design Thinking, its appropriation to different kinds of organizational contexts and respective maturity levels in its application.

    • Designerly Entrepreneur

      I used to own a little branding and design studio – traditionally, with clients big and small and 15 employees. Now I rather prefer to work in networks and have other experiments running, e.g. GlobalWasteIdeas. Who knows? Maybe it turns into a business one day ...

  • What I Do

    • User Research and Synthesis Training

      When it comes to organizational empathy and the development of respective capabilities many organizations have to start from square one. Regardless of how adept they already are, I help choosing the right partners and setting up adequate structures and processes to empower every employee in a company to become user-centric.

    • Innovation Facilitation and Coaching

      Innovation consultancies are often hired for doing the hard innovation work for you. This is like wanting the cake while not caring about how to bake, which makes you dependent on external help. I rather train people in baking, leave my tools and approaches so that your whole organization gets empowered to embrace innovation as a discipline.

    • Service Innovation and Business Design

      Sustainable innovations are systemic. I provide the knowledge, tools and methods for conceiving and building resilient service ecosystems... By the way, once you get that right, you're halfway towards the great brand(ed Ux) experience everyone is asking for these days. But there are no shortcuts along the way, you better roll up your sleeves ...

    • Framework and Intervention Design

      You're stuck in any kind of wicked strategy-making process because some actors lack understanding? You wish you had better catalyzing tools to facilitate complicated negotiations, decision- and sense-making processes? Well, I love to develop tools for that ...

  • Thoughts and Inspiration

    • Annual Review 2017

      Phew! What. a. crazy. year. I never did that before but here it is: My recap of personal highlights in business of this year. I learned a big deal and feel grateful for many things that happened. On that score, I somehow felt the need to wr…

    • Strategizing with Service as Business Logic

      I just gave a brief glimpse into S-D logic at the recent Service Design Drinks, Berlin. Below you can find the slides and a record of the video stream (quality isn't the best unfortunately).…

    • There Are No Products, Just Service(s): 15min Keynote Talk

      My talk at 99U Dresden is online now. It's mostly about "typical German product thinking" and why it is good to have a service lens on ones business. Although very basic in nature it introduces elements of S-D logic and the JTBD philosophy.…

    • Our Design Thinking Research Report Got Published

      It’s done! It took us a while but we just published our study on design thinking adoption in organizations. It’s called “Parts Without A Whole – The Current State of Design Thinking Adoption in Organizations.” Having been the main…

  • Work And Research

    I am the initiator and co-curator of, one of the most profound case study collections on design thinking in the web. The site emerged out of a big study on design thinking adoption and adaptation, we did in the HPDTRP. For a living (and as a passion) I co-run co:dify, a curated network of highly specialized innovation experts.

    • Design Thinking Study: Parts Without A Whole
    • Pirates In The Navy
    • “Hmm … Today you turned all the truths of five years studies upside down.”

      A student participant in one of my courses
    • “He will squeeze your brain like a lemon by asking thousands of »Why’s«. But hey, it works …”

      Dominik Faber (CIO, Softgarden)
    • “Jan? = Not fast from A to B!”

      Patrick Boltz (CEO, PlayFrame)
  • Contact

    Monumentenstr. 2, 10829 Berlin