Our innovation strategy for the future

Innovation & Design thinking

Innovation Design Thinking Hackathon
    What’s new?

    Innovation embedded in our culture

    At Control Union we recognize the importance of looking ahead, of forecasting, of innovation. We see it as our duty to ourselves, our stakeholders and our clients. Not as a desire for new techniques and business models, but we see innovation more as a culture that we nurture in our company.

    Control Union is committed to using innovative thinking to respond to increasing requirements for sustainable business and to add value to our clients’ activities and internal ways of working.

    As a forward thinking company Control Union provides innovative solutions and leading technology to it’s certifications, testing, inspections and risk management (collateral) services.

    Innovation versus Creativity

    Innovation and creativity are two different things. Creativity in business is needed to come up with great new ideas. Idea generation is a key component of innovation. For an idea to be innovative, it must also be useful. For ideas to become a successful innovation it needs to produce viable solutions to real problems.
    Innovations don’t always have to be major breakthroughs in technology or bring completely new business models. It can be as simple as an upgrade to an internal process, a different way of working, or can be features added to an existing service, instead of a completely new one. In any case, it has to be useful.


    What the Hack?

    We see more and more local initiatives popping up around Innovation. For example, Control Union the Netherlands organizes an annual 24hour Hackathon (for approx. 15% of the Dutch colleagues, 80 in total) linked directly to an Innovation Eco-system that ensures that good ideas receive support and resources from higher management.

    Recently our Dutch office also organized a similar Hackathon in cooperation with one of our clients: Cefetra, supplier of Feed, Food and Energy industries. A great example of effective co-creation!


    Mindset: Design Thinking

    Design thinking is an extension of innovation that allows us to design solutions for our clients and end users with a single problem statement in mind. It not only imparts valuable skills but embraces curiosity and can help advance our people’s careers. We use it as a mindset tool to encourage innovation in our own workplace and in working together with our clients.

    Design Thinking uses a 4 phase innovation framework: clarify the problem, ideate on it, develop solutions and test and implement.

    “We value innovative thinking and stimulate our employees by awarding the best and useful ideas with the ‘Control Union Innovation Award.”
    Koen Backer van Ommeren – Innovation Manager