Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 297,818 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 395,557 cutting edge ideas.

Innovating Inside the Box

Ute Assenmacher,Senior R&D Innovation Process Manager at Goodman Fielder
Michael Hemsworth
February 11th, 2015

Related Trend Reports

Art & Design, Branding, Drinking, Food, Health, Luxury, Marketing
When it comes to thinking on a broader innovation scale while making use of the tools within the brand itself, Goodman Fielder is crossing boundaries into new, unexpected territory with its R&D Innovation Process Senior Manager Ute Assenmacher at the helm of the initiative. Whether it be optimizing the way the team analyzes trends or how a product itself is developed, Assenmacher and Goodman Fielder are helping to enhance the consumer goods market in new, exciting ways that plan on shaking up perceptions of what it means to be the purveyor of products for everyday life.

Five Questions with Ute Assenmacher:

1. How do you motivate your team to generate good ideas?

I work across a multitude of categories and teams. We get together regularly and we talk about the state of the nation and how the teams are feeling. Are they passionate and engaged? We focus on peoples' strengths and peoples' passions. We have moved people and modified people’s positions to make it possible for everyone is to be truly passionate about what they're working on.

On innovation, we are running a lot of workshops to be as engaging with what they work with as possible, as well as to fine-tune their own strengths. I'm still working through developing an innovation culture, and we've done a lot of cross function ideation workshops and they help us to connect the dots better to understand what other departments are going through so we can understand what's going on earlier to help solve issues before they surface.

2. What is the biggest challenge you face when innovating?

There are a number of challenges. In a retailer-driven environment, if one is not permanently innovating, the result is a series of commoditized products. Our biggest challenges are to balance the demand for the low cost products from a retailer perspective, but still look at our bottom line. Investing in innovation is a challenge in itself but it has forced us to think within the box to use the existing constraints to become even more creative. In this environment, we are turning things on its head to really think of a new way of innovating.

3. What makes an innovative culture? How do you create a culture of innovation?

The fundamental requirements to foster innovation is thinking differently. We are almost constricted by our own perceptions of how to solve problems. Breaking the boundaries to think differently to get a different result. Teaching our team members on a scientific level to turn the paradigm on its head. We're actually starting from within a product to see that 'function follows form' to see if there's a different approach to take. We are teaching that, living that. People are attending exhibitions that aren't directly connected with our product scope to better learn and bring that back to the company-at-large. We need to change the conversation.

4. What’s an example of when you were most proud of your team?

Where a product innovation was driven from the technical knowledge from the nutritional team. It's a product that finally launched and a number of different aspects came together. Another team worked on making bread naturally softer and fresher. The scientific knowledge contributed to developing a product, and it was driven by the passion of two different teams in R&D who then partnered with marketing.

Too often our innovation is me-focused. It's a lot of smaller, minor changes. We've created research projects and get government funding to help foster innovation on a larger scale.

5. Looking to the future, how will you continue to be a leader in innovation?

It's definitely around front end innovation so that we continue to explore the whole area of science-driven while matching it with trends that are happening around the world. It’s going to be about asking: what do we already have? How can we foster and enrich that? Involving more and more people on the ground for a more holistic, upstream approach.

To implement a database, a ritual around innovation and expanding out into other parts of the business and focusing on the true front end to increase our level of innovation output. How do we do that? Building stronger interpersonal relationships. It's about true collaboration and having different interactions with other markets in the industry. Not being scared of doing it ourselves. Talking more as an industry. We need to find solutions as an industry.