New innovation method arrives in Minnesota

Rollout to North America to be based locally

By Kevyn Burger
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A new approach for boosting innovation in business is gaining its U.S. foothold in Minnesota.

This week, ThinkergyUS is training its first nine American consultants in Minnetonka. The independent innovation trainers will roll out the Thinkergy method to businesses that seek to use creativity for a competitive advantage.

“Our methods are new and they work. They’re action-oriented and fun,” says Thinkergy founder Dr. Detlef Reis, who holds a PhD in management and calls himself “Dr. D.”

“The consultants we are training are people who are now working in the innovation field or in executive coaching. This contingent will begin working with Minnesota companies that are open to new solutions,” he adds.

Reis believes the region is ripe for welcoming his training, citing the presence of companies with a longtime reputation for innovation, such as 3M.

The 50-year-old German, a former Deutsche Bank executive, has offered his method in Europe and Asia for a decade. He lists multinational companies including BMW, Nestle, Kimberly Clark and Mattel as companies that have used his method for building and refining their innovation practices.

Reis explains that his Thinkergy techniques include several integrated approaches that build on one another. One of his methods is geared at assisting teams in getting results as they seek innovation solutions; another is a personality profile that identifies an individual’s innovation style to profile their best outcomes for success.

“We also use what I call the Genius Journey. It’s about what can be done to develop creative leaders. That’s an emerging management trend,” Reis says. “Many managers are successful in being efficient and bringing the numbers. But being creative is a different mindset. We can show managers and executives how they can complement their management practices.”

While Reis is making the Twin Cities his U.S. hub, he plans to set up training sessions in other North American cities to build a network of ThinkergyUS consultants.

Cultivating innovation continues to hold value for American business, with ‘thinking outside the box’ at the top of the list of attributes sought in employees and businesses. Earlier in this decade, IBM surveyed 1,500 CEO’s to ask them what leadership quality they considered most important, and “creativity” came in first in the rankings.

That has upped the value of cultivating innovation, with books, seminars, research and training focused on developing the prized quality.

Reis developed an affinity for what he calls “the American personality” while growing up in southwestern Germany near a U. .Air Force base.

“All Americans are descendants of pioneers who went to the new world and conquered it,” he says. “This method is uniquely suited to the fast-paced style of business here.”