Alf Rehn on innovation, management and ball shaving

For this episode my guest is Alf Rehn, a professor of management from the Åbo Academi University. When appointed, Alf was the youngest chair in Finland. Now after more than ten years on the job he has gained a wealth of knowledge especially on the topic of innovation. In addition to his academic endeavours Alf sits on boards of several companies, for example Veikkaus, the Finnish gambling monopoly.

Alf thinks we’re spending our innovation resources on the wrong things. We’re inventing gadgets when we should be solving poverty. In his opinion, we need better discourse on innovation. During the interview Alf also shares some of the things that he has seen that can make a company more innovative.

In addition to innovation we discuss management. I was trying to get him to dis the bureaucracy at the university, but I failed to do so. Alf is definitely not a fan of bureauaracy, but he sees plenty of benefits arising from the traditional uninnovate parts of organizations.

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