EWMD Bayern: Highlight Event “New Ways of Working “

EWMD Bayern: Highlight Event “New Ways of Working “

A Highlight Event of the EWMD Chapter Bavaria about “New Ways of Working” took place in Munich Stadtmuseum on 30th of June 2016.

70 guests mainly women from various industries, consultancies, science & freelance businesses came together in in the city centre of Munich to increase their awareness on topics as Digitalisation, Industry 4.0, Social media, Work 4.0 with their consequences, to contribute and discuss the influence on leadership, culture, education and skills, to have insights into current implementation experiences & burning topics of New Ways of Working in companies (eg. Microsoft) and to get inspiration and visions through young way of workings in Start-Up companies.

In an open, proactive & lively atmosphere the consequences of Industry 4.0 on labour was setting the scene, yet taking fears that jobs will vanish and showing opportunities of new jobs coming up. “Robots are not robbing our jobs, but offer more complex & interesting tasks for workers and employees. In general complexity will be a key skill for future, as well as coping with uncertainties and innovation. The future of work in 10 years is a black box, which we cannot know yet, but we can shape it.” (Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer, Professor at University of Hohenheim for Sociology)

Roland Deiser, Director at the Center for the Future of Organization, Drucker Graduate School of Management in California, continued with a second perspective that focused on how social technologies transform the workplace and our traditional concepts of leadership. “Social technologies fundamentally change the way we communicate and we do business; they can re-shape virtually every business process. However, organizations and their leaders need to develop new capabilities to take advantage of the opportunities. Those who excel in mastering the potential of social media will enjoy a significant source of competitive advantage as we further progress into the 21st century”.

The implementation of „New Ways of Working“ within Microsoft was the focus of Claudia Wentsch, Director Customer and Partner Experience at Microsoft Germany. Microsoft tries to enhance a positive, lively, creative working culture through appropriate architectures. “Rooms are influencing behaviour! Colours, structures and materials can inspire us, support the concentration and animate dialogue. That`s what we want in our working world.” Flexible models of working in terms of times and place have led to the XING New Work Award. “Trust and participation is crucial for us. Controls are decreasing”.

This was also highlighted by Natalie Kho, a Generation Y woman having several roles in the start-up scene. She is piloting “New Ways of Working” at the LMU Entrepreneurship Center and Leadership³. Inspiring discussions came up looking at typical start-up behaviours regarding leadership, decision making through consulting processes, hierarchies of competences, rapid prototyping, “responsible freedom for everyone” and the challenge to organise more efficient meetings.

Lively working and exchange sessions were leading to conclusions like that there is no need of change phobia on all ongoing and coming changes, yet to see our chance in Europe with our  education and strengths as a unique essence for the future. We can be self confident, yet we need to shape and be active on “New Ways of Working” in order not to be passively influenced.

New Ways of Working is not a typical Generation Y demand, who asks for autonomy, flexibility, self organisation, failure culture etc.. Many participants in the room and being from other generations strengthened the fact having the same expectation and showing her responsibility in the new style.  “It is not a generation topic, yet influenced by different learning and working styles.”

With these positive signals Ursula Gänsler, the initiator and leader of this EWMD event, concluded the evening stating that participation and autonomy in New Ways of Working only can work if there is the accountability and decision taking possibility. Many modern ways of working and leadership have been trained already 15 years ago. “We need to focus additionally on the organisational elements and blocking factors preventing in organization modern methods and New Ways of Working”. One question of the evening remained open: What is the future of big corporations - will they exist in 15 years or have disappeared?


EWMD will continue with “New Ways of Working” and is organising a German speaking event in Essen on “Management 4.0 – Mensch and Machine” in Essen on 26th to 28th of August.renz unter: http://www.ewmd.org/node/17429.


Ursula Gänsler Senior Manager Improvement, Lean and Belt Programs Airbus Group