Panel - How to Effectively Engage Other Functions in Innovation

Daniele Dondi, Holly Cummins & Vali Maria Bluma

CoE Lead Business Design Operations at ING Neo | Innovation Leader IBM Corporate Strategy at IBM | Transformation Office Lead Operations Excellence at Evonik

as recorded on 17 March 2022 as part of Innov8rs Connect on Culture, Talent & Teams

One crucial enabler for your innovation efforts to bear fruit is collaboration with other functions and the core business, throughout the process. For some innovators, engaging with the many different stakeholders consistently takes up most of their time- but they also realize they have to.

In this sesison, we shone a light on effective ways to engage other functions, with Daniele, Holly and Vali Maria sharing what works and what doesn't for them.

About the speaker

The red thread in Daniele’s career is to help organizations build their next level innovation digital capabilities. He is passionate about business building and is an expert in leveraging corporate assets to generate new business models. He dedicated his last 10 years towards ING’s innovation journey, first by setting up and running the ING Innovation Studio, that later evolved into ING Labs. Then he went on an assignment in ING Spain to define their innovation methodologies and Fintech Strategy. He currently leads the digital operations of ING Labs, responsible for coaching capabilities, design practice and growth operations services.

Holly Cummins is an Innovation Leader in the IBM Corporate Strategy team. Holly uses technology to enable innovation, for clients across a range of industries, from banking to catering to retail to NGOs. She has led projects to count fish, help a blind athlete run ultra-marathons in the desert solo, improve health care for the elderly, use AI to invent stories, and change how city parking works (not at all at the same time!). Holly is also an author and regular keynote speaker. You can follow her on twitter at @holly_cummins or at

Vali Maria Bluma holds a degree in Political Sciences with study and work stays in Great Britain, the US and China. She has worked in communications, HR and Operational Excellence functions at EnBW, E.ON and Heraeus. In Feb. 2017, Vali Bluma joined Evonik, one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies. From 2019 to 2021 she was Change Management Office Lead in the NexGen ERP program, globally responsible for change and communication, to prepare 15,000 SAP end users for S/4HANA conversion. Since July 2021, Vali has been the Transformation Office Lead at Operations Excellence.

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