17 and a Half Questions with Katharina Hopp

In collaboration with Generation CEO, we present you 17 and a half questions to inspiring female leaders. Next up in a three-part series, we have Katharina Hopp, Senior Vice President Corporate IT and Business Unit-Lead "Mobility Solutions" at Bosch. The night owl shared with us the exciting goals she’s hard at work achieving this year

by Natascha Zeljko | 18 May, 2022
Katharina Hopp 17,5 Questions

1.  What excites me about my job…

I love the variety of topics and the diversity that my current job brings: starting with the internal customer to a great, global, diverse team to the technology – in this case IT – to finding the right solution. Beyond that, the transformative nature of my job excites me. Last year, we restructured the entire corporate IT to a more holistic, flexible, and customer-focused setup that allows us to be more transparent and, at the same time, more adaptable. And this year we are focusing on expanding our global footprint. Very exciting topics and challenges – always between people and technology.

2.  What frustrates me sometimes…

Sometimes it's just too slow for me. I see how markets and customer structures are changing rapidly, and I want to make sure that we as an organization maintain or even expand our competitiveness. And it's not for nothing that my motto is: "If everything is under control, you're not driving fast enough."

3.  My secret dream job

There are so many that it's hard for me to name one. Actually, I wanted to become an event manager, but I could also imagine to expand my coaching engagement for social start-ups or to become a HARIBO test eater – that would be something!

4.  My top strategy for surviving a really bad day at the office

Friendly colleagues, a short walk out into the fresh air, and then a courageous grab into the candy box.

5.  How I get into the flow

I'm at my best when I'm talking to inspiring and diverse people. I love learning from others, developing ideas, and making things happen together. Last year, I became a member of the "Generation CEO e.V." network of top female managers. The exchange among each other is super valuable. I usually find flow and full focus at my desk in the evening – I'm a "night owl." 

6.  Biggest success so far

There are many moments that I proudly look back on and rejoice; These range, for example, from the successful product launch of "my" first cordless screwdriver, to the birth of my children, to the recent transformation of corporate IT, which we managed well together.

7.  My greatest defeat

There have been a few of these in my life and career as well, although I would call them setbacks rather than defeats. And it's often from these that I've learned and grown the most.

8.  Worst buzzword

I have to confess that I can't hear the words "end-to-end" and "agile" anymore, because everyone understands something different about them and often enough it doesn't even contain what is promised.

9.  The best reward after a hard week at work… 

A round of jogging in nature and/or a glass of Prosecco!

10.  Home office or in-house?  

A healthy mix of both: I love being in the office together with my colleagues, working and exchanging ideas - especially when it comes to new or tricky challenges. However, I wouldn't want to miss the home office anymore either, because it allows focus and a better work-life balance.

11. The most important quality a colleague/business partner can have 

For me, openness is the be-all and end-all – openness to new topics and ideas, but also openness in the sense of honesty and transparency.

12. My creative hack

I love creating mindmaps and then doodling around on big pieces of paper.

13. The first website I check in the morning 

I try to avoid the internet in the morning and work on focused topics first. Later, I often check the Tagesschau app to find out what's happening in the world.

14. My favorite digital tool 

Microsoft Teams is my absolute favorite. I love how you can easily bring people together on specific topics, share content, and communicate with each other in a variety of ways, sometimes via video, sometimes via chat. And the GIFs liven up even the most boring meeting!

15. The book or series from which I have learned the most for my (work) life

As a child, I devoured Astrid Lindgren's books, which always have great messages. In a professional context, Leading Change by John P. Kotter is a must-read for me, describing the basics of change management. But I can also highly recommend Der Selbstenwickler by Jens Corssen, which is a lot about attitude. And for future scenarios and anticipating trends, the books by Yuval Noah Harari and Sven Gabor Janszky always give me great impulses. And, recently, I read How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates, which gives a good, well-founded look at the topic of climate change.

16. Which series, book, or podcast I would generally recommend...

I have been a loyal reader of brand eins for years and actually read the magazine cover to cover every month. I can also highly recommend the McKinsey Insights app, which has readable and well-prepared articles on a wide range of topics.

17. Most prominent follower on social media? 

I'll have to look that up first... Prof. Dr. Sabina Jeschke is probably the most prominent follower.

17 and a half: What has always... 

…driven me is to get things moving and shape the future together in teams, with friends, or organizations. There are so many exciting things to do!

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