Digital innovation is a crucial factor to success in business today. But how does it happen, and what does the process look like for successful business innovators? There are many hairy questions to address, but the answers are sometimes surprisingly simple. 

Levi9’s innovation strategy expert, Erik van Ommeren, recently held a webinar discussing these topics with three very different digital innovators: Ritsaart van Montfrans, CEO of Incision, Piotr Krzepczak, Co-Founder & CTO of Everon, and Maarten Witteman, IT Area manager at DPG Media, discussed in detail what they are experiencing.

The Simple Blueprint for Innovation

Innovation comes in many forms. Depending on your industry, the state and size of your company, and the market needs, the process of making it happen will be very different. Alas, no “one-size-fits-all” blueprint for innovation exists, even if many will try to sell you one. Still, there are several universal strategies that can be tailored to your industry.

As we discussed in the webinar, companies of all sizes in established markets often use separate departments to drive innovation. They have one group of people who focus on the next innovative strategy at all times.

Other businesses take a completely different route, making innovation part of everyday operation. The ambition there is to more quickly get insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Key to any innovation effort are the creation of new ideas and concepts, and validating them with real customers or users. Incision recognized this, and designed the company around their innovation process:

“We conduct innovation in collaboration with our clients, and spend time with them to truly understand their needs, developing the products they want. We also look at other ventures and investors to see what they’re doing – using research, discovery, delivery, and growth methods.” – Ritsaart van Montfrans, Incision

Working closely together with their customers allows them to get constant feedback throughout the process, ensuring their solutions are built precisely to their customer’s real needs.

‘Step out of Your Comfort Zone’ To Overcome Obstacles

Our speakers all agreed, innovation is never a walk in the park; it requires a constant devotion paired with a common goal.

The problem is; innovation is typically a long-term game, and it’s in our nature to want to stay in our comfort zone. That’s why, when it comes to innovation, decisions and goals have to be uniform, and everyone in charge has to be on the same page, willing to change.

For some, lack of focus or common priorities presents itself as a lack of time and resources. Yet, if something is important, there is always a way – even if it would require innovating without disrupting steady business too much, as with DPG:

“With clear priorities on innovation, goals, and outcomes, it’s easier to find the time to innovate. Once a path is set, we can all work together to improve our incremental innovation without disrupting our work process and revenue” – Maarten Witteman, DPG Media

Choosing between Crazy Ambitions or Realistic Goals

Opportunities present themselves every day, in many ways, shapes, and forms. But when you’re faced with a plethora of opportunities, how do you know which one to prioritise?

First, it’s critical to have a clear view of your ultimate business goal. Where do you want to be in the short-term and long-term?

Picking apart each opportunity to find how it matches these goals is the very first step. If you want your business to be the next Coca-Cola of your industry, you’ll prioritise the opportunities that have the best potential of revolutionising your market.

Or maybe your goal is to increase your sales through digital channels to a certain number; then you’ll prioritise the opportunities that drive digital business.

Ultimately, you have to focus on the value you provide. The opportunities may line up with your goals but they must give value to your customers; they are ultimately the ones who decide if an innovation will be worth anything.

“We use our business goals as a baseline; we want to connect 10,000 clinics worldwide and to help them share best practices with each other. We also try to focus on the ideas that can move us towards our goal – prioritising value, simplicity, and demand.” – Ritsaart van Montfrans, Incision

Let other Companies Fail for You

Other companies can be a great way to fast forward your own innovative process. While no business journey is similar to yours, looking at other businesses certainly provides insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Looking closely enough, you might find the reason why a product failed or spot exciting changes in your industry spanning from another business’s service. With knowledge like this, you’re much more likely to succeed in your next innovative launch.

“It’s important for us to recognise the mistakes other companies have made so we don’t replicate them. But we never copy and paste. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for us. We want to go our own way, but we use other companies’ successes and failures to define our blueprint.” – Piotr Krzepczak, Everon


Levi9’s mission is to help you find your source of innovation; maybe you need to find the right value proposition for your customers, or perhaps your ambitions are greater, and your goal is to revolutionise your market.

This webinar highlights some of the significant challenges and solutions synonymous with digital innovation, and this article only scratches the surface. 

If you want to find out all the inside tips that these businesses can offer, make sure to view the entire webinar here.

About Our Speakers

Maarten Witteman, IT Area manager, DPG Media

DPG Media is a large family company covering all types of media. Their company is in the middle of an existential crisis. As printed media is being enhanced or replaced by digital channels, innovation has become essential to succeed in their industry. DPG’s mission is to innovate, to transform their services and products into a more digital approach that is now central to modern media.

Maarten gave interesting insights on how innovation takes place in a 6000 people multinational media company with a long history.

Ritsaart van Montfrans, CEO, Incision

Incision is a scale-up company with 50 people based across the world. They provide what they call a performance platform for Operating Room medical teams and hospitals. 

Their solutions educate the world’s top hospitals in the best ways to deliver surgical care. To stay on top, they have made innovation a core business concept – they develop products with their clients to ensure they can provide the best possible solutions.

Ritsaart took the floor to explain how innovation takes place in a company that relies heavily on innovation in order to succeed – and provide the best possible innovative performance platforms for medical teams and hospitals.

Piotr Krzepczak, Co-Founder & CTO, Everon

Everon provides a platform for flexible and scalable charging solutions to businesses that operate charging facilities for Electic Vehicles. They offer solutions for different segments in the market, residential, workplace and commercial. The company was founded in 2009, consists of 750 people from several different nationalities and is in a high growth phase.

Piotr explained how their company innovates in a market where innovation is so abundant that it has to be carried out in a very unique way.