Matthias Rolinski on Stepping Up as a New Leader

Last year, recognized industry expert and member of CURAZE, Fe:maleOneZero’s innovation network, Matthias Rolinski became CEO of the IRS Group, the leading provider in the fields of vehicle bodywork and paint and smart repair. He explains how a willingness to take risks and self-belief will help him achieve his goals

by Natascha Zeljko | 17 Mar, 2022

1. What are the main issues or drivers in today’s business world?

The stabilization of processes and productivity in decentralized units on the basis of external market influences, such as the pandemic, as well as securing existing customers and new customer acquisition, the establishment of B2C businesses for selected business areas, the search for "blue collar" FTE, and the digitization of front-end processes to ensure a transparent and, for the customer, simple end2end process in claims.

2. ... and what are the biggest challenges?

The digitization of front-end processes, cultural change towards repair before replacing, i.e., the reduction in the purchase of spare parts, and sustainable value enhancement.

3. Which innovations and tech trends do you find particularly exciting?

Digitized end2end processes, which impress customers at the moment of truth, tech trends, like health apps, and the use of "green parts."

4. What idea, product, or thought leader has excited or inspired you lately?

The My Peloton/Echelon app really impresses me as it saves me a trip to the gym and gives access to thousands of sports-related topics at any time. My biggest inspiration is Nelson Mandela.

5. Why do cultural change and digital transformation go together?

Leaders have the most important role to play; We need to move away from a familiar top-down approach and pursue new, open ways of managing people. It is not enough to introduce digital transformation if there is a lack of practical implementation. No successful introduction can occur if the corporate culture is not integrated and adapted as well. We need to align the way we interact with each other, with the way we communicate, how decisions are made, and what kind of error culture is practiced in parallel. It is the employees who implement changes in the long term and thus ensure a successful digital transformation through their accountability and putting changes in place.

6. In one sentence, what is one topic that we should no longer be discussing in five years?

Bureaucratism in Germany.

7. What makes companies successful in the long run? What makes leadership successful in the long run?

Management and leadership are the greatest levers for positioning companies successfully in the medium and long term. As a "leader" you have to exemplify your values and vision and, thus, show your teams what you expect. Motivation, flexible working methods, and flexibility are now a standard. A leader has to listen well and bring visionary inspiration, but a willingness to take risks is also required. They must always trust in their own strengths and be open to leaving old structures behind.

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