What if being challenged would be key to unlocking creativity?

Mathias Boënne

Mathias Boënne

What was my dream when I was little?

I always wanted to become a movie producer - to be able to create a film from scratch by combining my business background and my interest in movie-making - and in this way bringing my own ideas to the big screen.

What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?

When I’m not working on my PhD, you can find me reading a thrilling book, or enjoying people’s company or mountain skiing/climbing.

What is my PhD about?

My PhD research focuses on challenge-driven innovation. I aim to show how companies can unlock the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of their employees by challenging them to generate and transform their own ideas into new products, services or even entirely new businesses during the course of an innovation tournament. An increasingly large number of companies - regardless of sector - are experimenting with innovation tournaments. During the course of my PhD research, I work closely together with companies such as Accenture, Commscope, Janssen Pharma and Yambla to create novel insights and knowledge.

Why is this important for practice?

In order to stay ahead of competition and to fuel their innovation engine, companies are always on the lookout for novel ideas - and the idea champions to develop them. Companies realize that the right idea champions or ‘intrapreneurs’ are often already present inside their organisation - they just need the right incentive and support to start developing their ideas. Enter the innovation tournament! By organizing innovation tournaments, companies can easily stimulate bottom-up innovation. On top of that, the innovation tournament creates both a challenging task for employees and a supportive climate for intrapreneurs. The presence of these two aspects should - in my regard - be present in every organisation that aims to become innovative.

How do I like to be remembered after my PhD?

An innovative and persistent optimist.

How do I see my future?

My ambition is to become an adviser and mentor for companies who aspire to become intrapreneurial.

Want to know more about Mathias?

Check out his cv page.

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times Economist Intelligence Unit