March 23rd 2015

Leadership & change in a multinational company.

Janina Kugel
Head of Personnel Strategy & Executive Development and Chief Diversity Officer, Siemens AG, Munich

As part of the “MCI Alumni & Friends” lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® welcomed Janina Kugel, Head of Personnel Strategy & Executive Development at Siemens AG in Munich. Ms. Kugel’s lecture looked at what impact increasing digitalization is having on the world of work and what challenges this will pose to HR executives and managers in the future.

She began by stressing how the emergence of “Industry 4.0” was changing the way HR executives were approaching their work, with most already using social media to recruit new staff. This method has proven particularly popular in Asia, where it is already standard practice in 90 percent of cases. The digitalization of the industry will require new skills and capabilities in future for which companies already need to start gearing themselves up. In her role as Chief Diversity Officer, she is calling for a rethink on immigration management and on integrating women into the world of work. However, it is not just the workplace that is evolving – the requirements being made of managers are changing too. Management styles based entirely on a hierarchical structure have already become outdated in the face of increased globalization. If you are to manage employees across the world, for instance, then you need to involve staff from various levels in a different way. An employee who decides to leave a company does so usually because of their working environment and, especially, their manager – rather than their work per se. Particularly in times when skilled staff are proving ever harder to come by, it is all the more important that they be retained. With this in mind, Ms. Kugel listed three golden rules for managing staff: Be honest, show respect, and have the courage of your convictions.

The event was chaired by MCI Rector Dr. Andreas Altmann. A stimulating debate rounded off the lecture.