„They all said: It doesn’t work. And then there was someone who did not care and just did it.“- Goran Kikic, German author and mental Coach


What does a leading software company like SAP and the former heavy-weight boxing world champion Dr. Wladimir Klitschko have in common? Not so much you would think but actually both of them have been developing new methods over the past couple of years to acquire and apply soft skills to foster innovation or change.

The Human Aspect

In order to successfully implement innovative ideas you need the right people who are skilled in different innovation methods paired with the right soft skills and willpower.

By applying design thinking SAP puts the human in the center in order to drive innovation. F.A.C.E. the Challenge by Klitschko Ventures also supports humans to uncover, integrate and to strengthen their own willpower.

SAP Design Thinking meets F.A.C.E

SAP and SAP AppHaus joined a strategic partnership with Klitschko Ventures in 2019. With his team Dr. Wladimir Klitschko created a method called F.A.C.E the Challenge in order to strengthen personal willpower. Willpower is a key driver to master challenges and to make innovation real in a corporate environment. F.A.C.E stands for Focus, Agility, Coordination and Endurance – these competences are trained in a four-step approach based on a strong correlation between brain & power.

The F.A.C.E method combines physical workouts and mental exercises followed by reflection via a personal challenge.

Since more than a decade Design Thinking has become an essential part of SAP’s DNA. Initially applied to SAP’s complex projects, Design Thinking led to a shift in their company culture. Therefore, SAP gained valuable expertise in driving innovation in large companies.

So how can you benefit and learn from this long-term expertise to drive innovation culture in large companies combined with strengthening of personal willpower?


„I love the feeling of fear, because I am out of my comfort zone then. And when I am out of my comfort zone something new arises“ Dr. Wladimir Klitschko. https://klitschko.com/de/face-the-challenge


The Curriculum 

SAP AppHaus and Klitschko Ventures developed a joint training that combines SAP Design Thinking and “F.A.C.E the Challenge”. This training curriculum consists of 3 modules and aims to turn participants into strong and sustainable innovation drivers. This will be done by both teaching methods and practical exercises based on a personal challenge. A first pilot will be launched in December 2019 in Germany.

F.A.C.E & SAP Design Thinking Experience Day

As a teaser for the upcoming Curriculum, SAP AppHaus and Dr. Wladimir Klitschko hosted an exclusive F.A.C.E & DT Experience Day at the SAP Experience Center Walldorf on October 23rd, 2019.

The goal of this experience day was to

  • introduce the combination of F.A.C.E. the Challenge and Design Thinking.
  • share details about the new Curriculum.
  • network with other innovation drivers.

But indeed, most of the participants were keen and super excited to meet Dr. Wladimir Klitschko in person and learn from his experiences in the context of willpower, innovation and challenge management.

Workshop participants had the chance to discuss their personal successes and failures related to willpower with Klitschko during a panel discussion. Klitschko outlined that there is a certain pattern how humans act in life. They ”observe – measure – execute”. Many decision makers though put a low emphasis on observing and measuring and go straight to execution mode. However, similarly like in Design Thinking it is key to first make an in-depth analysis of the current situation you are in before you can search for potential solutions.

Klitschko confirmed: Your strong willpower is the foundation of every step in the Design Thinking process.
In his active career as a boxing champion his long-term mantra has been ”Failure is not an option”. Following his defeat against Anthony Joshua in his last fight in 2017 he reframed his mantra: ”Failure with obsession is an option”. Compared to Design Thinking where it is also key to ”fail early, fail often” it is essential to keep your strong willpower after a breakdown to search for a potential solution.

Klaus W. Schuntermann, alumni of „F.A.C.E. the Challenge”, and the experience day strongly believes in the synergies between both methods:

“Thanks to the F.A.C.E tools you can bring your personality to the next level so that you can address any challenge in your private and business life by using SAP’s Design Thinking techniques. I am absolutely convinced that you can reach any goal in life with the powerful combination of these two methods. I am currently experiencing this myself!” Klaus W. Schuntermann, Managing Creative Director, MDR

Ready to innovate?

If you are curious to also gain skills of a true innovation driver you can register for the very first pilot of the DT F.A.C.E Curriculum starting in December by November 30th, 2019.

Below you find a short summary of the Curriculum:

  • Language: German
  • Date and location:
    • Module 1: December 10-12, 2019, Seminarhaus Freiräume, Osterstedt
    • Module 2: January 13-16, 2020, SAP AppHaus, Heidelberg
    • Module 3: March 3-5, 2020, Seminarhaus Freiräume, Osterstedt
    • Execute an innovation challenge based on the learnings of the Curriculum
  • Fee: €3000 per person (this is a special offer for the pilot. Future curricula will be at a higher cost)
    • Services covered:
      • Participation and and materials for modules 1 – 3
      • Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner for modules 1 and 3.
      • Lunch for module 2
    • NOT covered:
      • Accommodation and meals for module 2 (except for lunch)

Interested? Then send us an email including your name, company and a short statement why you absolutely cannot miss the pilot of the DT F.A.C.E Curriculum in December 2019.

Not logged in