Hansgrohe USA held a press lunch on October 24, 2014 at Houston Hall in NYC. The event — moderated by Erik Christensen, Hansgrohe NA president — featured guest speakers Richard Grohe, Hansgrohe SE deputy CEO, and Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, cognitive psychologist. The creativity began with the invitation to the event, a viewfinder. The slides included the invitation, photos of the guest speakers and a few infographics with interesting shower facts.
“More people have creative ideas in the shower than in at the work,” said Kaufman. “It helps block out external distractions, offers a change in environment that shift perspective and jolts us out of ordinary awareness.”
Survey results showed that 72% of people have had ideas or worked through problems in the shower recently. The survey also noted that 14% of people purposely jumped into the shower to have new ideas, fresh thinking and solve problems.
Kaufman also talked about the right brain/left brain myth and how in reality the brain should be split into inner network and outer network. The “Looking Out” Network is responsible for our working memory, inhibition and flexibility, whereas the “Looking In” Network is responsible for imagination, mind wandering, reflection and perspective.
“There are many reasons we do so well in this market,” said Grohe. “One is that we take a lot of showers professionally to activate our inner network. The other is the view from my window is great and inspiring for the outer network.” Grohe mentioned that sometimes his team would meet on an island and talk for three days and no one can leave — unless they wanted to swim — until they came up with something new.
“We personally test our own products,” he continued. “We look at the water, every drop; we listen to the sound, feel the pressure, the impact. We want to make sure not one drop goes down the drain unused — it should stay on the body and sink into the skin.” The employees also get a chance to test the products as well.
“We sometimes even shower together — clothed of course,” joked Christensen. “I have had meetings with Richard in the shower, in our bathing suits, testing out our different products. This is the DNA of the company.”
After the presentations were complete, the floor was opened to Q&A. When asked where he saw the most potential growth, Grohe joked he would be happy if he could sell a showerhead to all 1.4 billion people in China. “Actually, we see lots of growth in Asia because of all the new construction going on over there,” he said. “And product wise, growth will depend on region and culture. For example, in Japan you won’t see many overhead showers. They have more hand showers because they are sitting in the shower. The United States is an overhead shower market.”
The event closed with the announcement of the 2014 Das Design Competition and Grohe wishing everyone good ideas in the shower. “Everybody has good ideas under the shower, but it depends what you do with it when you step out to dry yourself that counts,” he said, quoting his father. To help encourage creativity guests were given a gift bag with a Raindance Select S 120 Set hand shower and a waterproof Notepad for the shower.
“Ideas are hard to protect,” Grohe said, in response to a question about generic cheaper products. “The solution we have is to run faster. Always stay creative, innovative and two years ahead.”