Elevator Pitch

The revolution is now

Mary-Jane Bolten (MSc MiM, 2018) wants to turbocharge the way we all do business to create companies that are future fit.


Mary-Jane Bolten, Human Nagafi and Liisi Sukles.


1789 Innovations AG, a research startup focused on organisational innovation in complex environments.

The opportunity

The old management paradigm is very top-down, bureaucratic and planned. But, in 2020, there are numerous examples of things changing so quickly that you can’t plan for them – Covid-19 is the best example of that. So how can companies structure themselves to deal with these challenges? That’s where we come in.

The big idea

Our name refers to the year of the French Revolution. Right now, the working world is in a state of revolution. It’s not just about digital, but about how we do business and how we build companies. In the 1980s and 90s, it was all about shareholder value. Now, we have saturated markets and a very different, fast-moving, competitive setting. Revolutions come about because something needs to change – but what comes after the revolution? We need to change the way companies work, and we believe that decentralised structures work better.

The service

We provide the data and insight companies need to go forward by conducting research and experimentation with your team. We haven’t got all the answers – our work is a great deal more collaborative and interesting than that. We’ll work within a specific context when we go into a company: for example, what their value chain is. Then we’ll devise a hypothesis: for example: “What would happen if the team took responsibility for this, rather than one manager?” And then we’ll design an experiment to test that. It’s very individualised to each company, but we also work to see if anything can be abstracted to feed into a bigger picture. Plus, we share our knowledge in training sessions and online.


There’s no external investment – it’s all been organic growth. We’re all personally invested in the company’s success, and that’s a big driver.

The future

We want to work with more companies to create our own theory of management and spread the word. It’s all about working together with companies to solve problems, rather than just selling them something.