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Fine-tuning know-how in the Innovation Garage

Jana Künzler loves the dynamic, inspiring atmosphere of the working environment in the Innovation Garage at Generali, where she is able to apply and expand the methodological skills she learned during her degree studies.

Jana, how dynamic is the Innovation Garage AT Generali?

It generates quite a bit of horsepower! We are currently hosting 12 external start-ups in the areas of artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital payments, cybersecurity and CSR.
The Generali Innovation and Strategy team also uses 600 square metres of space in the Garage. Co-Creation gives rise to many new solutions, for example for chatbots or digital billing processes. These are simply faster and easier to develop in the Garage than within “normal” corporate structures.

 

Tell us a little bit about your work routine. How do you generate one idea after another?

We work with methods such as design thinking and are guided by the human-centred design framework. Among other things, this means that we develop new solutions based on our customers’ needs, in multiple iterations. These are then tested with the customer and further optimised. The Garage provides the physical space for us to do this: it can be configured exactly how we need it. Right now, for example, I’m sitting in the “library”: a room that could give the impression of being just that. But we rarely browse through books here!

 


“The team has an enormous range of tasks and abilities.

Every day brings a light-bulb moment.”

 


What do you like most about your working environment?

That I can get involved in all kinds of different areas! I recently helped our Innovation team look for new start-ups for the Co-Creation space. At other times, I help the Strategy team with project portfolio management or matters of strategic focus. The team has an enormous range of tasks and abilities. We participate in so many experiences: a real fine-tuning of our know-how! Every day brings a light-bulb moment.

 

How is the trainEE programme at Generali structured?

The programme is designed to last 18 months. Trainees spend three phases in different departments here in Adliswil. The fourth phase is spent in another European country. For example, I am planning to go to Milan, which I am very excited about! However, we spend the first seven months in our ultimate target department so that we feel “at home” there. But this doesn’t mean we can’t change our mind if we find another area of activity that appeals to us more during the trainee programme.

Innovation garage

This is where internal projects meet external start-ups