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Working Paper: Vignette

Reorganizing to Innovate More Competitively: Key Lessons From Deutsche Telekom

This vignette describes the key changes that Deutsche Telekom made in prioritizing, funding, and governing innovation projects.
VIGNETTE

A description of a firm’s approach to an IT management issue, written according to a prescribed template

Abstract

Beginning in 2015, Deutsche Telekom changed its approach to innovating in several important ways. Faced with demands to improve the value generated from its investments in digital innovation projects, the company cut back on the areas in which it pursued innovation, and mapped those remaining to a holistic framework. It also introduced a flexible innovation funding track inspired by venture capital; required shared ownership of innovations; and encouraged more integral involvement of external experts in innovation. By 2017, Deutsche Telekom had realized important benefits from this new approach. This vignette describes the key changes that Deutsche Telekom made in prioritizing, funding, and governing innovation projects, and offers important insights for any organization keen to strengthen its culture of innovation.

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About the Author

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Nils O. Fonstad, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

MIT CENTER FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH (CISR)

Founded in 1974 and grounded in MIT's tradition of combining academic knowledge and practical purpose, MIT CISR helps executives meet the challenge of leading increasingly digital and data-driven organizations. We work directly with digital leaders, executives, and boards to develop our insights. Our consortium forms a global community that comprises more than seventy-five organizations.

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