1. What are the most important drivers in the current business world?
The accelerated pace of change, the ongoing crises and transformation issues, which are driving retail, and the consumer goods industry. In the long term, the focus is on people, values, and corporate culture. What does it take to set up organizations so that they can operate successfully in the market and are well positioned for unpredictable change?
2. ... And what are the biggest challenges?
For us, it’s still the pandemic, as event planning, which is important for a business club, is far from being back to normal. And for our members, the terrible war and its impact on people, but also with regard to supply bottlenecks or massively increased energy costs.
3. Which innovations and tech trends do you find particularly exciting?
Anything that serves people – in healthcare, for example. Here, digitization and the responsible handling of data could be used much better to benefit patients and research. In retail, I'm currently particularly excited about the small, convenient, checkout-free store concepts from Tegut, REWE, Whole Foods, and Amazon & Co., which enable very speedy shopping.
4. What idea, product or thought leader has excited or inspired you lately?
Most recently, I've been captivated by ancient Greeks like Plato or Socrates. Their ideas on what good business and successful societal coexistence can look like provides exciting food for thought.
5. Why do you think cultural change and digital transformation belong together?
The two are indispensably linked. If digital transformation is to succeed, it must permeate all areas of the company, be understood, and lived. Trust is important for this. The goal of digitization must always be to use it in a way that makes sense for employees and customers and creates real benefits. In my view, many companies make it too easy for themselves to delegate the topic to a CDO (Chief Digital Officer). I don't think much of that approach because it concentrates responsibility on one person. Of course, digitization is a matter for the boss and must be lived and promoted at the highest level, but it will only be successful if a corporate culture based on togetherness provides the breeding ground for responsibility on the topic at all levels and for appropriate decisions to be made.
6. In one sentence, what is one topic that we should no longer be discussing in five years?
Connection holes in the telephone network and digital expansion with fiber-optic networks; The current situation in Germany doesn’t live up to its high-tech status.
7. What makes companies successful in the long term? What makes leadership successful in the long term?...
... People make the difference – both today and in the future!
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