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MARCH/APRIL 2014
 
Employees in focus
 

NIELS COTIAUX ABOUT THE

BUSINESS LOGIC GAME
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Niels Cotiaux has been at IMP for nearly five years and brings with him in-depth experience in plant/mechanical engineering, construction, chemicals/pharmaceuticals, energy, medical technology and textiles. That may sound a bit technocratic but it’s really not. Especially if you know that Niels Cotiaux worked at WILLY BOGNER and that FIRE & ICE is one of his favorite films because he is himself also an avid skier. Is that why he worked as a ski instructor during his university years? The question is: What other experiential knowledge can a ski instructor contribute to the everyday business of consulting? Monika Miller (IMP Austria) wanted to know so she sat him down for an interview...
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Monika: Niels, what were the things you were able to take with you from your life as a ski instructor into your life as a consultant?

Niels: The main thing I learned was to adapt quickly and deal with a vast array of different types of people. That is a massive advantage in consulting.

Monika: I can imagine. There must be countless parallels drawn between skiing and consulting – from the "ascents and descents", for example, that a consultant goes through with customers when developing new business models and strategies, or the "clearer views" that we get when we reach the "peak". Where do you see your focus at IMP? What really gets your heart beating? You often report about the great experiences you have with the IMP Business Logic Game that is used in customer projects.

Niels: My focus at IMP is mainly on using existing competence to identify new growth areas with a number of different creative methods based on Design Thinking concepts and then transforming those into feasible and sustainable forms of business logic. And, as you already mentioned, the Business Logic Game plays a central role in that. In reality this means: We don't get bogged down on one idea. We help the customer transform the idea "playfully" into new business logic or into new strategies. As we do this, we convey the enjoyment that can be had when doing strategy or innovation work, which in turn results in motivation within the company.

Monika: What is the guiding principle of the game? Why is this type of game necessary at all?

Niels: Ideas are often already there, but they are NOT converted into sustainable forms of business logic. They tend to be (and remain) the ideas of individuals. What is missing is the diversity of perspectives and thus the interdisciplinary integration that is so vital to success. Without integration there will be no enthusiasm for anything new. Without enthusiasm there will be no motivation – internally or externally. Those new ideas, which exist as seeds, end up dissipating!

Our game and, more importantly, the team-based approach to harmonious, results-oriented innovation work, guarantees the required diversity of perspectives while eliminating both faults in the logic as well as "friction between fractions". It also "crystallizes" existing seeds of ideas related to the various elements of a specific business logic.

Monika: What elements do you mean here?

Niels: For example ...

  • CORE POSITIONING: What do we stand for? What differentiates us?
  • THE LOGIC OF OUR OFFERING: What is it exactly that we offer?
  • VALUE ADDED LOGIC: How do we provide our service?
  • MARKET APPROACH: Which customer segments or niches do we go for? And last but not least
  • PROFIT LOGIC: How do we generate sufficient revenues?

Monika: So how does the game help again?

Niels: It paints a picture of the situation, of the readiness and skills to embody these new ideas; it forms an argument for innovation; and it greatly accelerates development work. In addition, it contributes to the team building process and mobilizes entire organizations to get involved in innovation. It also creates a connection between the participants and the innovation itself.

Monika: That sounds like pretty tough work. But the feedback from customers is always really positive, isn't it?

Niels: Yes, our customers always give us incredibly positive FEEDBACK >. They also often emphasize that they had a good time in addition to working hard. And as I just mentioned, that in turn is of paramount importance in terms of mobilizing people.

Monika: Thank you for the interesting explanations, Niels. I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Maybe you’ll manage to get out on the skis or at least have some time to play with your daughter. I just hope you don’t make her play the IMP Business Logic Game with you ...

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NIELS COTIAUX

Monika Miller
did the interview
with Niels Cotiaux.

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