“Problems are what we face every day. That’s why I like to turn problems into challenges because they are fun. It’s like being back in childhood, playing a game.”
Within the first three minutes of his SAPPHIRE NOW session, “Meet the Dream Team and Maximize Agile Innovation and Success,” heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Ph.D., clearly sums up how he achieved success in the boxing ring that rivals that of Mohammed Ali. In addition to his history-making punching knockouts, strong jabs, and straight right hand and left hooks, “Dr. Steelhammer” brings an entirely new dimension to the world of boxing with his intense obsession, vision, and commitment.
He is also showing the world how such qualities translate incredibly well when it comes to business innovation. As the entrepreneur and now a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen’s change management and innovation program, he is applying his methodology to help students adapt to the rapid shifts in the global economy with considerable agility, effectiveness, speed, and precision.
According to Klitschko, the agility, durability, concentration, and coordination exhibited by athletes can be transferred to businesses in the form of design thinking. “It’s very important from the beginning to define your obstacle and, in the end, become obsessed with it and in love with what you’re doing. You need to set your goal, know the consequences no matter how painful, and imagine what it’s going to look like. You also need allies to help you reach your goals, and you need be, again, obsessed with your goal. If you are in love with your goal, you will reach it; otherwise, you will lose your focus.”
Today’s world is full of heavyweight challenges and constant changes. But to gain market share, compete, and win, organizations still have to be agile and innovative. The combination of design thinking and challenge management creates a stable foundation to mitigate risks, take advantage of opportunities, and create new revenue streams. “We’re all running against time when we are trying to achieve our goals,” Klitschko observed. “In this sense, design thinking and challenge management complement each other really well.”
Gain more insights from the world of boxing to improve how your business manages the intense challenges of the digital economy. Watch the replay of the SAPPHIRE NOW session, “Meet the Dream Team and Maximize Agile Innovation and Success.”