Innovation Man

“Did you know, Westburg, all these experts and award winners, they are all world champions in optimization. It’s just like in our company: They polish their workpieces and processes as well as IT systems and supply chains until they shine like my wife’s earrings. But you reach the point where you squeezed out the very last drop. And then the others swoop in, who don’t carry all this baggage with them. They do not hold a world market position that they can lose; they don’t have old plants that they have to transform; they don’t have anything that they need to constantly polish. So they build something completely new. And then it’s possibly “game over” for us. This is our “black swan”, an event with extreme consequences. And that’s what interests me.”

Daniel Westburg, 36 years old, family man, music lover, ex-company consultant, and a digital enthusiast, has been the head of the “Innovation & Digitalization” department of Sassmann Maschinenbau GmbH & Co KG for three months. His task: To lead the company into digital transformation. His status: Overworked. His motto: “The apocalypse is coming – maybe not today, maybe never. But it will be here soon.” Today, Daniel must present his strategy to the management of the company. And he knows: This is the day that also decides his personal future.

The novella “A Day in the Life of an Innovation Man” describes the probably most important day of his career from Daniel’s point of view. The WYZE Projects cooperation partners Gianluca De Lorenzis and WYZE Projects founder Dimitrij Naumov, together with communication expert Lothar Dörr, tell of the hurdles, disappointments and political power plays, but also of surprising discoveries and fascinating human encounters that befall those who are ready to embrace change.