I grew up in the countryside, mobility was always important. With the studies "Fahrzeugbau", there was a baseline for 30 years of automotive industry, in different companies at different places, developing many contacts and experiences.
Solving acute problems without panic
Talks and negotiations with foreign partners are full of misunderstandings ?
There are technical problems at one of your sites that need to be understood ?
Special jobs are my passion.
Coaching, Change, Leadership, Project Management
I bring in my broad experience, not 100 pages of PowerPoint. Approaches and ideas, well explained and good to be followed.
Not only my homes are connected and my iPhone got 300 Apps. I have professional contacts that I can talk to.
To ask the right questions is essential. And the empowerment of those who do know. Disruptive dangers and opportunities we will identify together.
Everybody talks about it, but what does it mean for the business management and the corporate governance ? The impacts are wider than expected, not only relevant for the development.
I always committed myself for pragmatical solutions. Courage, responsibility and creative power were part of my way.
To dig into all the details of 30 years would go too far. But some of the highlights, I present here:
During my studies I was programming BASIC programs in parallel. The world championship racers Wimmer und Roth of the 250ccm Championship were using my software to tune the transmission / combination of gears, because it was better than the software, provided by the factory-teams.
In my third year of employment, I was already appointed into a launch task force as the responsible engineer.
After the move to Karmann in Osnabrück, I was group leader in whole vehicle testing. At that time, working in well structured projects and matrix organisation was lived intensely.
I was traind as a trainer for leading in projects and project work, with an IMAKA-certificate.
At Karmann, all the management and leaders at every hierarchy level and usually not directly involved in projects, had to take over a role in one of the projects, to learn and understand project work. I was responsible for a simultaneuos engineering team. Responsible for all the rubber sealings in Renault projects.
This learning approch at Karmann was highly innovative.
During my intermediate step at Henniges Elastomer- und Kunststofftechnik, before being headhunted to Volkswagen, I experienced how small organisations are working successfully on the basis of trust and empowerment. The big OEM customers had problems with that small suppliers kind of working and did not take them serious. Because of that, working with large scale OEMs was difficult.
After moving to Volkswagen, I was part of the first real project house at Volkswagen. I was the second man behind the project leader.
We implemented project working style against a lot of resistance and - by the way - launched the Phaeton.
In Shanghai I experienced how difficult it can be to work in an Joint Venture, because political interests are often intransparent. It is interesting, in how many different ways the problems are tackled. And to observe, that the Chinese partners are much more long term thinking and do not implement new organisational structures every now and then.
A special highlight was the vehicle proving ground, that my Chinese partner and me were bringing into business, after the road builders had finished. We set up all the additional infrastructure and organisation.
At Bentley we did not only build great cars. There is a lot to learn from the English colleages: Very good presentation skills, flexibel in appearance, disciplined dealing with each other. They are well trained. At Bentley, the training of managementskills and differenciated from that, the training of leadership skills was well integrated.
And some trouble shooting jobs of course were good challenges.
My long time in the Passat projects included the derivatives Alltrack, CC, GTE, Arteon and the Chinese derivatives.
It was a great time with a complex combination of leadership, processual tasks and internal politics.
In many conversations with journalists and the other voters of the "Car of the Year" it was possible to convince them, so that the Passat B8 with all the outstanding technical features was accepted best with 100 points ahead of the second car in 2015.
The Arteon shows, that it is possible to make a car real, that got exceptional styling based on very good large scale series technique, when the project is delivered with discipline. Such goals, outside the arbitrariness, are only achievable when there are enough people in charge, who stand for the brand mission and the emotions, equal to the financial figures.
This outline is for sure not complete, but hopefully shows my views and way to success. I lived it and I continue living it.
A new invention ?
During my first employment, I had a job in 1991 as the only engineer in a team of four. All decisions were made within that team. several technical changes, tooling changes at suppliers, process changes in the factory. When new components arrived, we fased them in for trials in the series production and made the assessments together with the relevant people.
In project reviews, we presentet our results and plans, without hundreds of people asking questions. After finishing this task force, all the monetary and administrative points were brought to an end.
Is it possible, to work that way today ?
More and more administration, organisational requirements and mistrust hinder agiles working, even though there is a lot of noise about agile teams. We do not only have to question our processes, we need fundamental change and trust, make empowerment real.
Think out of the Box
Strengthen the potencial of your own people. Motivation instead of demotivation. Synergies between young and old. Management and Leadership with a substantial level of understanding what's going on "down there".
Avoiding the Dunning Kruger Effekt in all hierarchy levels.
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