Case study: VfL Wolfsburg

How VfL Wolfsburg brings innovation into everyday business using Blinkist.

Employees of German sports club VfL Wolfsburg are incredibly knowledgeable about football. But, to spark creativity and drive innovation, the corporate team behind the football powerhouse wanted their staff to bring learnings from other industries to the table. Using Blinkist, they were able to bring in knowledge from non-fiction books to help create a thriving, innovative business that’s consistently ahead of the curve.

VfL Wolfsburg is the first Bundesliga (German first division) team to incorporate the global management method of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to increase motivation and efficiency, making them one of the most cutting-edge teams in the area.

With the goal to bring more innovation to daily goings-on, Head of Corporate Development, Prof. Dr. Juppi Lee, needed a tool that could provide learning-on-the-go for commuting, smartphone-obsessed employees. Having used Blinkist in the past for his own development, Lee was keen to incorporate it into the whole company.

The Blinkist app lets people explore the most relevant expert knowledge in a short amount of time, to keep them on the cusp of industry trends. By summarizing the content of nonfiction books in both written and audio formats, Blinkist could help VfL Wolfsburg infuse mobile self-improvement into coffee breaks and beyond.

The Challenge

A dispersed workforce undertaking daily commutes into the office made it necessary to fit learning into fast-paced lifestyles.

The corporate team at VfL Wolfsburg had no structured approach to learning in place but realized they needed to find a way to inspire personal and professional development within their teams in order to adapt to the constantly changing environment as quickly as possible.

The Ultimate Goal

To shift mindsets from efficiency-focused to growth-focused.

“We are in a very efficiency-driven environment that has little understanding of innovative processes. We want to become a company that’s increasingly focused on problem-solving, but the great treasures always lie beyond your comfort zone!

It’s important to think outside the box and look beyond your problem. This is what we want to focus on to foster a growth mindset and create a modern corporate culture.”

— Prof. Dr. Juppi Lee
, Head of Corporate Development


The Solution

To spark creativity, foster a growth mindset, and bring innovative ideas into everyday business, Lee opted for Blinkist for 3 reasons:

  1. To help the team easily and efficiently find the knowledge they needed to deal with specific problems
  2. To enable the team to discover “wild” knowledge (i.e. ideas and perspectives they might not ordinarily find, or know they need), so they could draw inspiration from other management methods and innovative ways of thinking
  3. So the team had a learning tool that flexibly integrated into their busy, everyday lives

“The Blinkist content is easy to consume—and fits perfectly into our busy, everyday lives.”

— Prof. Dr. Juppi Lee, Head of Corporate Development

The Result

Within one year, 109 employees were 
regularly using Blinkist, and have consumed a total of 1,341 Blinks.

Another noticeable benefit was the shared vocabulary Blinkist gave the team—enabling them to quickly and easily get on the same page when discussing big ideas or complex topics.

“As we’re talking a lot about innovation and creativity and what it takes to let it fully unfold, it helps a lot if we can refer to certain Blinks and then come to the same (quickly consumable) level of knowledge and so deepen our discussion.

For example, the Blink “Weird Ideas That Work: How to Build a Creative Company”, aligned us on the idea that innovation needs space and time as well as a different error culture; and 99 failed attempts must be allowed in order to generate the one innovation that moves the company forward.”

— Prof. Dr. Juppi Lee, Head of Corporate Development

Implementation was also a breeze! As the enthusiasm for Blinkist was so great, a one-off email campaign supported by Blinkist was enough to get the knowledge app to colleagues.

Blinkist also became an integral part of the meeting culture with the “Blink of the Month”, a monthly book club in which employees themselves choose and discuss Blinks.

After a year with Blinkist, Lee doesn’t doubt the continuation of the collaboration, especially because the app is so easy to use.

Want to stoke innovation in your organization too?

Blinkist is a microlearning app that’s helping millions of people and over 800 organizations thrive by connecting them to powerful ideas from nonfiction bestsellers and popular podcasts via 15-minute text and audio.

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