On the 22nd of March 2017, at #Cebit2017 , I moderated a panel discussion for the #Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on the chances and risks that the digital transformation creates for businesses of all size. The panelists represented organizations such as Startup, Research Institut, Medium Sized companies and a world wide known company:



  • Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen AG
  • Daniel Schnitzler, Prozess Manager at Tesyo. Tesyo technologies GmbH (Startup)
  • Kevin Füchsel, Leader of Strategie, Marketing und Communication at Fraunhofer IOF (Research Institut)
  • Herr Gerschewski, Geschäftsführer at IndiKar (Medium Size company) 

We discussed about the implication of the digital transformation on IT-Security, Process optimization,  innovation and the connection of companies to people thanks to the internet presence.

Here are my top 10 nuggets of knowledge that I want to share with you:
  1. Companies recognize the importance of IT-Security but a lack of standardization makes cooperation between companies difficult
  2. IT-Security standards should not be enforced by companies but by the government
  3. The politic should develop a stronger framework for IT-Security
  4. Computers are giving us more innovation power and won't replace all workers. 
  5. The education system should adapt to bring the new required skills to future workers and simplify long life learning 
  6. Process optimization is complex because one must take into account the human resistance to change
  7. The real challenge is to support people during change
  8. Big companies are learning how to work with agile methodologies by creating center of competences
  9. Startup and medium companies are now more visible. Client now look for information in the internet in order to evaluate the company. This mean that companies must manage their presence. 
  10. An online presence is not only having a website. It is also offering information about your company on social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter

Earlier in Europe the digital transformation was only seen as a danger for companies.I could sense a change in perspective during this panel discussion. Organizations of all size are trying to take advantage of the digital transformation. Now companies experiment new ways of working in order to remain competitive in a world where the internet as blurred the frontier between 80's science fiction and reality.

It is your turn to tell us what you think. Comment this post and tell us what the digital transformation is bringing from your perspective.

Erstes Workshop in Stuttgart am 8.03.2017 um 13:30

mehr Infos hier:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1866492930271637/?ti=as

How could you improve feedback sessions? We all received and gave feedback but it can be puzzling as it may end up into a blaming or a congratulation session. As a manager you want to give constructive feedback in order to improve your team effectiveness. You may also be reluctant to give feedback because it is personal and can create discomfort. As an employee you may be looking for a way to get the feedback you need when your manager is not taking the lead.

Finding an approach that represents you and does not feel useless is sometimes complex . On one side, there is the feedback giver who wants the feedback to encourage the person to deliver a specific outcome or a new behavior. On the other side, there is the feedback receiver who may feel attacked because the comments may mean that he is not "good enough" or the feedback do not support him to improve his work. Feedback sessions can be an highly emotional moment when both participants come with some kind of angst. Giving and receiving feedback is hard when we focus on the "potential negative reactions". One key to success is to always focus on facts that can be observed from both sides.

Let's concentrate on how to give "negative" feedback in this article. You should always give positive and negative feedback in order to balance the discussion. I cannot believe this person is doing it all wrong!

A good feedback to see a change is a Fact feedback.

Can you remember a time when someone told you something sounding like "You are stupid! You should not have done that!" and your immediate reaction was "fight / flight or freeze". This did not help change anything. You should focus on facts and explain why the result of action "A" was not what you expected. For example, one employee may deliver bad oral presentations. You will not start saying that the person is a bad speaker. In stead you will mention facts like: I realized that you'r saying to many "hum", you do not look at the people.... Then you will give the person a detailed description of what you expect from them in the future. Help them to focus on those areas of improvement.  

Do not give feedback, give feed-forwards.  

Feedback are focused on a past that you cannot change. Focusing on the future actions that the person should take is empowering. It is your role as a feedback giver to frame the desired behavior the person should show. You have some homework to do before the feed-forward meeting. Observe and take notes about the feedback receiver's actions and list what you really expect from them. Be clear about what you expect from the person!

Steps to prepare for a feed-forward session

This method should be used to prepare for each individual session. The Feedback preparation starts way before the meeting itself. For each person, you should keep the following list up to date. 

Observe behavior: 

A leader that I know writes his observation on post-it and keep them all in a personal folder. He opens it few weeks before the meeting in order to clarify what the employee will need during the feed-forward session. 
  1. List positive behavior you observed. Use examples to back up your list.
  2. List new behavior that the person should start showing up. Use examples to back up your list.
  3. List undesired behavior that the person should stop. Use facts and example to back up your list.
Yes, there is a lot of repetition but please back up every observed / desired behavior with an example.

Prepare for the meeting: 

Are you sure that your suggestions as backed up with facts? Avoid being judgmental because it will not help the person grow. We grow when we believe we can learn more not when we think we are going to fail.
  1. Prioritize the list of behavior and create a list of things you want to discuss with the employee. Everything you observed may not need to be discussed. 
  2. Make sure you are talking about specific facts and please, not alternative facts ;)
  3. Do not make it personal. Do not attack the person.

Lead the meeting using facts to support your argumentation

  1. Explain that the aim of the meeting is to help the person develop itself and become better at what they do 
  2. Describe the positive behavior that you appreciate.
  3. Describe the new behavior that will help improve his / her work and give examples of how the person could implement it in the daily business. 
  4. Describe the behavior that you think the person should not have anymore and explain why. 

After the meeting: FOLLOW UP!

As a feedback receiver there is nothing less discouraging than not hearing from our manager after taking the decision to work on yourself. Plan follow up meetings with the person on a weekly or monthly rhythm. It is important that you follow up on the new behavior that the person should show and remind kindly that some behavior are not acceptable.

I hope you enjoyed this article and please share it with people who may need it or find it interesting.