A Story about the Power of Curiosity
Can Guo works as Senior Key Expert for Motion Control and Subsystem Architecture of Medical Components at Siemens Healthineers. In his opinion, working in R&D not only affords curiosity and an innovative mind, but also the ability to deal with failure and the tenacity to try again.
When Can Guo was ten years old, his father’s friend gave him a gift – a small toy gun. Fortunately for Siemens Healthineers, the toy broke after just two hours. He put it in his drawer and forgot about it until two years later, when he found the toy again and became curious: What had been damaged? How should it normally work? Might he be able to fix it?
Today, Can holds 32 patents and leads an award-winning R&D team of 60 people at Siemens Healthineers. For Can, everything still starts with curiosity. It’s one of the four things he has in common with all of his team members – and probably with everyone working in R&D at Siemens Healthineers:
It took Can half a day to make his toy gun work again. And with this, something changed. He started to tinker with lamps and batteries in high school to understand how they work. He enjoyed disassembling and repairing electronic devices such as TVs and radios. “I did a lot of personal practice and developed a really strong interest in new technologies,” he remembers. “Curiosity is the best way to get familiar with something.”
“Insights into technical fields are highly relevant, of course combined with a strong interest to learn,” says Can. His team meets regularly to learn from each other, exchange thoughts and take part in innovation activities such as workshops. Moreover, as a Senior Key Expert, Can is able to exchange insights with a global community of peers. “This really opens your mind, as you get to know what others are working on and what they have achieved. I network with different departments in the company and then share the learnings with my own team.”
“We need to deliver innovative results to be able to support our customers and ensure the reliability of our products,” he explains. “When trying to be innovative, though, it’s almost natural that ideas sometimes do not work out. And that is not a big deal at all.” In his opinion, people should never be afraid of failure. Simply giving up as soon as difficulties arise is also not an option. “In the early stage of idea creation, we already implement brainstorming sessions, define risks quickly, and ensure rapid prototyping. If it then turns out, that an idea is not working – no worries, we have many of them. The number of successful projects brings confidence to my team.”
Can identifies with Siemens Healthineers, its culture, and the rationale behind his daily work: “We are a great example of a people-oriented company. Working at Siemens Healthineers, you can extend your skills and benefit from a respectful and exiting atmosphere. Also, we are working for a good industry – healthcare – and it makes me and my team feel valuable to develop things which help others.”
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