When Jasper enters a room, everyone knows. He moves fast, thinks fast and wears a constant smile on his face. No lack of energy for him on this boiling hot day! We are situated in LabX, an inspiring environment where Jasper often likes to meet with the team he is coaching. It is here that I ask him a couple of questions about innovation. Jasper: “I am curious to find out how people prepare for the future. I think that this can only be done by both reflection and critical thinking.”
“For me, innovation is the combination of mind-set, courage, and curiosity. This becomes most evident when I challenge the people I work with and ask them about their purpose and what they are interested in. For me personally, I try to ask myself questions like: What do I like or dislike? What motivates me? And: In what way can I develop from this situation? I have a genuine interest in people and feel confident in asking them the same questions. Their answers help me understand what is going on and how to move forward.”
I am curious to understand his view on being an external consultant. Jasper answers: “As an Innovation Booster you are an outsider and this can be a great benefit. A direct example is that I’m not part of the company’s ‘original’ hierarchy. This adds a level of freedom to my way of working. It also adds a level of competitiveness, and quite possibly resistance. People more than once have shown their concern that I was going to be the individual that would tell them all how they should do their jobs.
Believe me, I don’t.”
It becomes clear to me that people are important in Jasper’s way of working. During our conversation the following words stick with me. Jasper: “I try to involve people at work by engaging with them on a personal level. I’m a social and positive guy and try impacting people with my energy and enthusiasm. It makes projects more exciting and enables me to show what the implications of new opportunities might be for them. My role is to get the best out of everyone, taking on board all those involved and adding an entrepreneurial angle to their work.”
I ask Jasper about what he aims for on a regular day. He answers: “On any given day I try to put a smile on someone’s face. I’m cheerful and like being around people. I thrive of other people’s energy and working together on great projects feels rewarding.”
Last but not least, I want to find out what his motivation is to work for Innovation Booster. Jasper: “Working at Innovation Booster enables me to explore my curiosity towards how all sorts of businesses anticipate the future. By staying focused on our clients and their challenges I have the opportunity to help them look and move forward. As my background is in retail, it is essential to anticipate the coming season(s). As I come to think of it, it’s funny that I am doing a completely different job than I did in those days, but in a way there are also multiple similarities! Life huh?!”
Interested to find out more about Jasper and his ideas about innovation? Email any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org!