Stepping out of the comfort zone

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

You do not need to work in a start-up company to get challenged on finding new ideas for the business. Everyone can take up the challenge.

Verena Jensen, Mechanical Engineer, takes one last glance at the speakers notes she is holding in her hand. Now, she is ready to pitch. A lot of preparation and extra working hours is about to reach its climax as she and her two teammates enter the stage to present what they think can change the way machine owners and operators use data. Six minutes to present and three for questions from the jury.

Verena Jensen has taken part in the Man on the Moon competition, Danfoss’ internal idea generation competition that gives everyone in the company with a great idea the chance to pitch it to senior management.

“You can pick your own idea and choose the colleagues you would like to work with and learn from for this intense period of project time. This motivates me a lot,” says Verena Jensen, Mechanical Engineer, first time participant, and adds “it is just great to be part of this. On a personal level you develop skills and competences that you do not necessarily practice in your daily work, such as holding a convincing pitch and coming up with a business plan. That is really a challenge and means stepping out of the comfort-zone.”

Our people make it happen

Big corporations find ways to spark new energy and start-up mentality in their employees. In Danfoss eagerness to foster great ideas began already in 2004, where the first colleagues from across the globe participated in the first idea generation competition to develop new ideas and business potential for the company.

“Our Man on the Moon competition is the opportunity where people can share great ideas with each other, be inspired together with their colleagues and come up with new ways to really create impact for us and our customers. So many great ideas start with something simple that has fixed a small problem for us or one of our customers, and then we have found we can use it in many places when we share and work with others,” says Njal Pettit, Head of Man on the Moon competition.
And he knows how fast colleagues are at solving customer pain points and developing business plans as is the focus of the competition. The outcome of the competition is clear.
“I meet people again and again that tell me their ideas on how we can do more. That is why people really are thinking Danfoss and living our innovation DNA,” says Njal Pettit.

And yes, Verena Jensen and her team convinced the jury to continue to develop the idea.