This year’s preparatory seminar 2017 started with three absolutely interesting presentations. But first of all, we got a short introduction by Prof. Dr. Ruedi Nützi, the director of the FHNW. Now, we would like to give you some insight into our key learnings from today and share it with you.

Influence of a Positive Appearance – Corinne Staub, ONE

The first presentation of Corinne Staub from “ONE” was the perfect start in this preparatory seminar. The aim was to transmit some great insights into the business world in terms of appearance.

“You cannot control what other see in you. But you can control who you are, how and what you communicate as well as the way you act and interact with others.”




She transmitted her statements involving members of the delegation to show how you can build up trust or how you have to correctly introduce yourself and colleagues. You should think about what makes you likeable to the others. Aspects of getting likeable are smiling, eye contact and body language. Surprisingly is that 55% of the first impression is due to the outfit.

Moreover, she talked about different categories when we see somebody for the first time. These categories are designed from Mark Bowden. The first one is “Friend” and this is also the best category. Enemy and Indifferent are the other ones.


She designed her presentation on a very interactive way, including a pleasant mix of theory, examples of experience in real life, funny anecdotes and gave some historical background to explain where some current customs come from.


Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of preparing yourself about who you are going to interact with and which message you want to transport with your introduction. It’s important to have a tailored description of yourself that is short and meaningful. You have to walk your talk and your message should always be consistent. Additionally, you have to consider the environment you are in, such as habits, values, customs and does and don’ts. Everything depends on the country and their culture.

Last but not least, we focused on dress codes for men and women. She gave us some concrete recommendations and showed us good examples. Dealing with rank, gender and age in business and private life were also discussed. Now, we feel well prepared for all upcoming events and situations as well as are aware of the impact our appearance.



We want to thank Corinne Staub for the amazing talk.

Driving Innovation – How organizations discover, select and execute on innovation by – Harm Flik, Zühlke

The second talk of the day was about innovation in an organization. Harm Filk, employee of Zühlke, is a consultant for organizations on how to make use of digital and mobile technologies and innovative business models to create profitable and sustainable competitive advantage in a digital and connected world.


In his speech about driving innovation, Harm Filk talked about the process of being and staying innovative to help keeping the company competitive. As an organization, it is essential to constantly change their exposure. There are four key skills that drive innovation forward.

  1. The only constant in an organization is change
    Organizations need to keep moving, otherwise they will cease to exist
  1. Disrupt yourself, or otherwise someone else will
    Organizations actively need to seek and explore ways to disrupt their own business, in order to be prepared when the time comes and someone else is disrupting the organizations business model.
  1. An explosion of exponential
    Competition is global, and well-funded. People and organizations should think big, not the next 10%, but the next 1 million %, and embrace a culture of experimentation (fail fast, but fail forward).
  1. Your mindset matters
    An organization has to live an experimental and innovative enabling culture. To enable the employees to be innovative and working on their own projects is a key point.

In the end, as an organization you need to be on top of your game, be active and try to constantly evolve who the organization is and where the organization is going. Therefore, enabling and living innovative thinking.

We want to thank Harm Flik for the incredible talk.

Innovation politics – Dr. Fabian Schnell, Avenir Suisse

The last speech of the first day of the Preparatory Seminar was held by Dr. Fabian Schnell. He is a senior fellow and the head of the department “Smart Government” at Avenir Suisse. Innovation politics is a very important topic for Switzerland.


He talked about the strengths and key factors of the success of Switzerland’s innovativeness. But why is Switzerland the most innovative country in the world? Past political decisions enabled Switzerland to be the world champion in innovation.

Strengths & key factors


But how can Switzerland overcome those weaknesses and keep its leader position as the most innovative country in the world? Switzerland has to reform its self. First of all the economy needs more qualified workers (especially specialists), thus the migration is a very important topic and should be enabled. Also, the access to foreign direct investments should be improved. Thirdly, the access to the labor market must be simplified and labor market regulations should be adopted to the digital economy. Lastly, the environment for start-ups has to be improved and start-ups should be better supported to bring their ideas to market.




We want to thank Dr. Fabian Schnell for the very educational talk.



The whole connectUS team had an incredible first day and the team is looking forward for tomorrows speaker Dr. Louis Perron and Michael Schranz.

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