The Lufthansa Group, like many legacy airlines, operates one of the world's most impressive bureaucracies. It has established policies and procedures, and just about everyone is taught not to deviate from them.
That's the way it should be for safety. But for commercial matters, it's not the best approach. Modern airlines prefer executives take chances and "fail fast" with innovative strategies for everything from how they sell tickets to how they check in passengers to how they board customers and bags.
Airlines know they must evolve, though not every one is doing it the same way. Some ask every employee to think differently, asking workers with decades of experience to alter how they operate. Others, like Lufthansa Group, have set up outside labs to drive change, employing tech-savvy workers without airline experience, and asking them to make bold suggestions. It works because they're outsiders.
"They are not used to how we do things at a huge company like ours," said Christian Langer, Lufthansa chief digital officer. "They don't know the processes and the standards."
I spoke with Langer recently to learn more about Lufthansa Group's Innovation Hub in Berlin
. While it hasn't had any massive hits yet, a few of its ideas have reached the market, including airlinecheckins.com
, and a new way of selling tickets.
What do you think of airlines that create innovation hubs? Do they work? Or is it a waste of money?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or tweet me @briansumers
with your thoughts.