36 hours in the life of an Innovation Manager

My name is Zoran Matic and I work as Innovation Manager at UR in Stockholm, a public service company with approximately 230 co-workers. We are a digital platform for knowledge and learning. A big part of my job is to design learning experiences and facilitate sprints where different teams from all organizational levels implement new methods. 

I studied the part-time MA in Digital management (2015-16) in Stockholm. It was an intense but rewarding experience and I could implement all the knowledge directly into my ongoing projects at work. The program has given me friends for life, a huge backpack full of methods, insights, knowledge and an international network of professionals. All together it has opened so many opportunities for me.

Today I work closely with my team to systematically develop and facilitate methods that support development, cooperation and innovation. We have so much talent and knowledge in our company and we try to enable our organisation to learn faster than the world is changing. All of our work is put into improving our core business – to create great content and digital platforms that meet our user needs. In close dialogue with the executive leadership, management and project teams in UR we identify areas that want to develop or innovate on.

Monday 06.00
I’m always the first one up and take care of the breakfast for the whole family. We have a fun routine where I play different animals or insects and figure out how they would wake the kids up in the morning, it usually helps them get on their feet and off to breakfast with a smile.

Monday 08.30
I head to Växthuset (the Greenhouse), our workshop room for innovation and development projects. The project manager who I have co-designed the workshop with arrives and we go through our roles and the material one last time before we kick-off the workshop. The IDOARRT is written on the whiteboard, the first slide is on the projector and welcoming music streams through the speakers.

Monday 09.00
Time to workshop
During Spring I’ve coached the team through their service design process and this workshop is one of the most critical. Today we use the insights on user behaviours and needs, ideate on concepts that meet the user needs and then render all the ideas on new tv-formats, suggestions on possible external partnerships and digital solutions through our company’s strategy. The aim is to find the best solutions for the user needs and behaviour while contributing to the fulfilment of our strategy and keeping track of not choosing a solution/need that is already fulfilled by another actor.

Monday 11.45
When we check out from the workshop the members give each other feedback and are happy to have a platform for new video-formats, insights on how different concepts support user needs and in what ways the various concepts drive our company’s strategy.

Monday 13.30
After lunch we do a short whiteboard session, where we map out the needs that our Strategy team has in ongoing project. The input will be used during another workshop with different internal stakeholders.

Monday 15.45
Meeting with the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) on insights and learnings from projects that have used service design and how we can share the results in our company. We also brainstorm different methods and ideas on future-mapping and market analysis.

Tuesday 09.15
Together with the project manager I go through the material from yesterday’s workshop and prepare suggestions on the next steps for the development project.

Together with then meet the editorial project manager and the manager who is responsible for the final result from the development project and decide on the next and final step of the process.

Tuesday 13.00
Preparing a presentation on our new set of method cards for team and project development. It is a prototype created by the innovation team together with a group of interns.

The rest of the day is ‘Demo day’ where our digital tech team shows what has been done during the last sprint.
On to the next sprint!


On strategy and business side of media and technology. https://stratechery.com
On change: Change (Watzlawick, 2011)
On facilitation: “Don´t just do something, stand there” (Weisbord, 2007)
On having a critical perspective: “Engineering culture” (Kunda, 2006),
On the basics: Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation (Perkin, 2017)
On Ai: Lex Friedmans podcast “Artificial Intelligence” https://open.spotify.com/show/2MAi0BvDc6GTFvKFPXnkCL?si=ZOAFi5TsQCCYWgo9h0yQkg
On creativity/culture: www.032c.com

Say hi to Zoran and his colleagues at UR