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So far Klaudia Kelleh has created 20 blog entries.

04/08/2020 | Back To “Business as Usual”?

By |2020-08-04T09:47:33+02:00August 4th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Now that everyone is back in their offices and meeting rooms there is a temptation for companies to allow old habits to creep back. It wasn’t so long ago that we were all talking about the advantages of flexible workplaces and self-organized teams. There was a general consensus that offices weren’t the only places where employees could work productively.

So why is it that we have reverted to our standard office routines? Is it really so hard to trust employees? Although managers clearly need additional skills to handle remote working and it is easier to monitor output when everyone works in the same building, lockdown demonstrated that staff members are often more productive when working from home than in the office. So, should flexible working only be considered as an option when required by law?

“To retain employees in the long term it is important to utilize all the positive side effects of flexible working models,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. “Companies must provide employees with plausible reasons for withdrawing their new freedoms and flexibility. Failure to do so means that such a move is perceived as untransparent and could even cost companies more than just a few percentage points of turnover.”

The CEO of a Global DiVision client has also recognized that physical presence is not a must, summarizing the company’s new employer journey as follows, “Just setting up the initial workshop was already very exciting for us. Some of the participants were present in our large conference room while others joined us digitally via video conferencing. We also felt that the discussions during the breakout sessions were far more focused than before we used this blended format.”

28/07/2020 | Business Etiquette – The Right Attitude. No-One’s Perfect

By |2020-07-28T09:08:46+02:00July 28th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

What does it take to become an internationally successful professional? It is tempting to believe that only those who are perfectly acquainted with another country’s business etiquette can behave appropriately. However, approaching this challenge too pedantically runs the risk of overlooking the truly important aspects of communicating with international business partners. To experience greater diversity and learn new things, you must be genuinely willing to engage with other countries and cultures and to set aside your own ingrained behavioral patterns and values. A wonderful side effect of this is that it allows you to identify a country’s customs more quickly and to develop a better feel for what behavior is required. Being open and willing to engage will also increase your chances of adding new business partners to your network.

Just as in our own culture, other cultures also excuse minor social errors on the part of foreigners – after all, we have all been guests in another country at one time or another. Should, despite this, you not be sure whether you should adopt your business partners’ customs or they yours, it can be helpful to ask coworkers if there have already been meetings and, if yes, what the participants did. As a general rule, it is never a mistake to follow a foreign country’s social conventions when you are a guest there.

21/07/2020 | Why The Customer Is Only King in the Retail Sector

By |2020-07-21T07:18:57+02:00July 21st, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Today, deciding who we would prefer to buy from is primarily dependent on where we plan to shop. When it comes to the Net, distance selling specialists such as the Otto Group, Zalando, and – first and foremost – Amazon are the frontrunners. So how should retailers respond to such ever increasing online competition? The answer is clear – they should focus on the aces that Amazon and the rest don’t hold.

Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, reveals the secret of successful retailers, saying “that it isn’t enough to set up an online store and hire knowledgeable staff. Our studies have discovered that there are three key differences between successful and less successful retail chains.”

1. Successful retailers solve customers’ sourcing problems.

2. They offer high-quality, enjoyable in-store experiences.

3. They provide personal interaction and comprehensive advice – not only in-store but also before and after customers make purchases.

When combined, these three factors not only deliver a multi-sensory experience but also generate loyalty, the reason why customers give preference to a company and keep coming back. In addition to this, there is a high probability that customers will recommend the company to others.

Identification is an outcome of differentiation, building on an emotional relationship with a retailer that an online platform cannot achieve. While online vendors may have the advantage of extensive product ranges and high-level functionality, they can still only offer a transaction. Who buys from Amazon because they find the company likeable; because they think the employees have expert knowledge; or because they feel well taken-care-of when making a purchase?

When it comes to creating emotional ties with customers and winning their loyalty, small but crucial differences will, in future, become ever more important and thus also key to greater success online.

Optimizing retail with Global DiVision…

14/07/2020 | Why Consulting Can also Be Good for Consultants

By |2020-07-14T09:02:32+02:00July 14th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Who wouldn’t want a flexible working hours model that allows them to achieve a good work-life balance? While most employees would consider this a dream come true, management consultants appear to consider it unattractive. Why is that?

“To begin with, we should be aware that this is a management issue,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. “We interviewed 50 consultants working for five prestigious companies in the industry and were frequently told that they don’t want to be forced into working hours models but instead to decide for themselves how their work-life balance should be. This attitude was often an expression of consultants’ fear that they could be accused of not showing enough commitment to their jobs.”
No matter whether consultants were male or female, they all accepted overtime as a given in their field. In addition to this, many interviewees were proud of the fact that they were able to solve conflicts between their work and private lives without their employers’ assistance.

What steps can a company take to prevent the glorification of working under pressure? “The key to change is redefining the definition of success and the parameters used to measure it,” answers Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). “Focusing on quality of work; client satisfaction; and a good team atmosphere is more productive than recording the actual number of hours that are worked.”

Avoiding and changing specific internal communication patterns can also help the move away from perceiving overtime as an indicator of “high performance”.

Talk to us about your work-life balance options…

07/07/2020 | What’s up Diversity? Part 3/3 – Developing Your Team

By |2020-07-07T09:48:27+02:00July 7th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

In Parts 1 and 2 of our series we focused on selecting employees and management. In Part 3 we provide inspiration for developing your team in a way that allows you to promote success by exploiting diversity.

Fair performance assessments; equal access to top-level projects; promotions; and salary increases based on employees’ actual merit are key to a team’s success. Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, knows from many years of experience that “employees who are members of minorities usually have to work harder to prove themselves and that white male team members are often allowed to behave in ways that minority group employees are not.” Numerous studies also show that it is easier for white male employees to climb the corporate ladder than, for example, people of color or women.

Implementing the following measures will ensure that you avoid potential hazards when assessing performance or awarding promotions:

1. Define clear evaluation criteria.
Focus on actual performance, not assessed potential and base every evaluation on predefined standards that provide as much data and precise wordings as possible.

2. Draw clear lines between performance and potential as well as between personality and abilities.
Should potential be an important issue for your company, then it should be assessed in a separate process. When doing so, the evaluation criteria should again be clearly defined.

3. Ensure employees have equal opportunities to sell themselves.
Provide all employees with dedicated tools that allow them to assess their own performance. A short list of evaluation criteria can help employees to avoid being too modest or too over-confident.

4. Explain how training, promotion, and salary decisions are made and adhere to these procedures.
Develop an anonymization strategy to ensure fair treatment of all candidates being considered for a promotion. This can be achieved by using a color-coded list that includes clear guidelines on the requirements that candidates must meet to be promoted.

It is important to make changes in corporate culture, however it is, unfortunately, not possible to implement them overnight. On the positive side, you can begin the process right now.

Talk to us about your customized fairness program…

30/06/2020 | Business Etiquette: Mind your distance in intercultural encounters

By |2020-06-30T09:01:39+02:00June 30th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Picture yourself in the waiting line at the airport, sitting in the narrow seats of an aircraft, when talking to a stranger, or when meeting somebody in the street by coincidence. You want to be mindful with being too close to the other person. You don’t make any friends at all if you are stepping into their personal space. One will ask what is the correct distance to your counterpart or to your neighbor in a meeting. GDIC certainly has a few answers for you to consider.

After a good 50 centimeters or 25 inches you are too close
If you are with family members, friends or good acquaintances you will allow them to come as close as to give you a hug and a kiss on your cheeks. However, if you think of foreigners or business acquaintances you might want to have a bigger distance. You might be too close to them and this might have negative consequences. You might want to check the cultural differences so you are the expert on the right amount of distance. Beside Europe the limits are sometimes smoother.

Who can come a bit closer?
Certainly, medical doctors, hair dressers, massage therapists and other related professions assume that when you shake your hand that you agree with them touching you. Cutting your hair or medical examinations cannot be done without touching you. The same goes social events like dancing. Touching and getting closer is a necessity.

Competing for your space
You have been in situations where you neighbor in the narrow aircraft will take over the armrest that would be yours. Or you had somebody stepping on your feet while waiting in line. You can have two options to handle such situations. Either you go with the non-verbal fighting or you can openly address the situation. “Excuse me, would you mind moving a little bit so I would also have enough space in this narrow environment? Many thanks.” Main rule also in this context: Stay polite and factual.

Enjoying a relaxed conversation
A traditional hello with a hand shake, a conversation or small talk is being held in your personal zone. Here we would recommend a good distance of 1 meter. Most of your counterpart would appreciate that. There are certainly other situations where you brainstorm or get a bit closer to your counter partners. This is inevitable. We just need to accept the body language and culture of the other person. Good indications of more or less distance might be somebody lowering their voices or leaning back with their eyes on the floor. Be mindful.

Distance in a social setting
Be mindful of talking to strangers. Some of them might be irritated if you are in search of your eye contact. You might scare them away. If you greet somebody use a distance of 2-3 meters (5-6 feet) and get a bit closer when you start the conversation. Also here check on the body language. If somebody is open they might lean towards you to invite you for a conversation. If you see your boss or a client on the street on your personal time see if she/he is ready to stop to have a little small talk. In a social setting a smile and waving from afar could be enough. You can certainly send signals by those means and don’t get too close. Be mindful and check out their body language. Also here the best way is to check beforehand in which cultural environment you are.

23/06/2020 | What’s up Diversity? Part 2/3 – Stay Fair Every Day

By |2020-06-23T09:25:03+02:00June 23rd, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Last week we focused on selecting employees and assembling teams. Today we are taking a look at how companies can successfully implement diversity in their day-to-day dealings -for example regarding employee and manager behavior or when assigning tasks.

“Companies like to assign so-called “office domestic work”, such as tidying up meeting rooms or organizing lunch, to female employees, who are supposedly more caring,” reports Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD), CEO of Global DiVision, from personal experience. In contrast, a disproportionately high percentage of attractive, prestigious tasks offering good networking and promotion opportunities are assigned to white men. Studies show that men also take control of discussions during meetings more often than women. In addition to this, men with specialist knowledge are able to exert more influence during discussions than their female coworkers. Where a woman is judged to be behaving “emotionally” or a black man “angrily”, a white man will, in contrast, be considered to be showing “passionate commitment”.

Should you recognize problematic equality-related dynamics in your own company, we have the following suggestions for change:

1. Ensure that your employees take turns with “office domestic work”.
No matter whether you believe that women carry out certain tasks more thoroughly or even if they have volunteered to carry out them out, make sure that you assign ancillary tasks fairly and to all employees.

2. Pay attention to equality when structuring and assigning more valuable projects.
Before you assign an important task, consider carefully who among your employees has the appropriate capabilities to carry it out. This could increase the chance of it being given to someone who is not a member of the circle of individuals that you always assign important tasks to.

3. Acknowledge the value of ancillary work.
The careers of employees who come from minorities often progress more slowly because they handle tasks that are not acknowledged as valuable. The integration of such work in personal target agreements and its inclusion in employee appraisals is the first step to solving this problem.

4. Take action against double standards, stereotypical thinking, and impolite behavior during discussions.
Pay attention to how your employees talk about coworkers and how they behave in a group. You should, for example, be extra vigilant when individuals continuously try to dominate conversations or keep interrupting coworkers. Speak to the employee about this behavior one-on-one in private.

5. Ask members of minorities for their opinions.
Women, employees with Asian origins, and skilled first-generation workers often report that they have been brought up to be diffident. This can, in turn, tempt them to be very reserved when asked for their opinions or to keep their thoughts to themselves. Straight talking can tempt such employees out of their shells.

6. Structure meetings in such a way that no one feels excluded.
Business meetings should always take place in the office and not in locations where only the employees who share the same hobbies or preferences as their boss have a chance to shine.

7. Ensure that all employees have equal access to you.
Ensure that the frequency of one-on-one discussions corresponds to business requirements and your team’s needs instead of having a tendency to reflect the relevant employee’s wishes or expectations.

Talk to us about your customized fairness program…

16/06/2020 | What’s up Diversity? Part 1/3 – Correct Employee Selection

By |2020-06-16T08:37:20+02:00June 16th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Studies show that well-managed, diverse teams perform better than homogeneous groups of employees. In addition to this, they are more committed; have a higher collective intelligence; and are better at making decisions and solving problems.

But how can you as one single manager create an integrative team without having to simultaneously roll out an expensive diversity or inclusion program?
“Over the years we have developed extensive know-how in the field of establishing diverse teams and advising companies on how to create and manage heterogeneous working communities. In addition to creating such teams, our focus is on assisting managers to cultivate diversity and make the corresponding advantages transparent,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel, CEO of Global DiVision.

Diverse teams offer a wide range of perspectives that in turn expand the spectrum of strategies and solutions. Communicating the added value of varying competences and viewpoints allows the individuals concerned to make meaningful contributions while simultaneously increasing the acceptance of other team members. The result? Latent prejudices or competitive mindsets within the team can be combatted and discrimination can be eradicated.

In the coming weeks we will be presenting accompanying measures that can be used when assembling teams characterized by both diversity and inclusion and giving tips on how to avoid prejudices.
The first step is to select the correct employees.

1. Insist on the Most Diverse Pool of Applicants Possible.
Whether you work with headhunters or recruit employees yourself, you must make clear from the get-go that you are genuinely interested in diversity. The more applicants come from a similar background, the higher the probability that someone from this background will be hired.
Career development and mentoring offerings can also attract diverse groups of potential employees.

2. Define Objective Employment Criteria.
Unconscious prejudices regarding the “cultural fit” often result in homogeneity. All too often the preoccupation with this fit results in a focus on shared social origins and interests, severely restricting the choice of employees. It is thus important to establish objective criteria for vacant positions and to apply uniform standards for the assessment of all applicants. When examining resumés and holding interviews, the qualifications required for a specific job should be defined in writing.

3. Employ Fewer Employees on the Basis of a Recommendation.
Is your company’s workforce too homogeneous? This will not change if new workers are recruited from existing employees’ social networks. Instead, look for applicants and candidates who have the skills and experience that your team is lacking.

4. Hold Structured Job Interviews that Include Competence-Related Questions.
Ask all applicants the same questions and make sure that every question is directly related to the desired knowledge and abilities listed in your catalog of requirements. Evaluate the answers immediately and use a predefined schema to compare candidates with one another. Try to identify applicants’ competences as precisely as possible. Set specific tasks instead of asking generic questions or confront candidates with a problem or task that could also be relevant to their daily working lives.

Talk to us about your customized fairness program…

09/06/2020 | What’s the Best Way to Successfully Self-Organize Your Work?

By |2020-06-09T10:07:02+02:00June 9th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

The advantages of self-organized work are clear. Employees who independently determine how they work not only understand their own tasks but also gain an understanding of the bigger picture throughout the company. Their knowledge horizons and expertise expand, and employees feel validated, both regarding their specialist knowledge and also at a personal level. This can release huge amounts of energy.

But how can the transformation to self-organized working be achieved without overextending managers and employees? Global DiVision recommends realizing the process by means of specific changes on three levels. For team members’ self-organization to be successful, they must be provided with accompanying coaching to help them master both methodological and also group dynamics-related hitches.

Level 1: Decentralizing Organizations

Companies can introduce self-organization step-by-step, focusing on pilot projects or sub-areas with the objective of ending central control of all aspects of work and establishing flatter hierarchies. Managers continuously reduce the number of direct instructions they give; an increasing number of decisions are left to the team, who independently visualize tasks and results and make them transparent to all participants. This in turn minimizes reporting and allows employees to develop their own concepts for process optimization.

In this context, it is essential to allow experimental phases with an error-tolerant learning culture to ensure that both managers and also team members are able to grow into the new situation. Celebrate each success as it is achieved!

Level 2: Assisted Self-Organization

At Level # Two teams are allowed to make all operational decisions and bear full responsibility for these decisions. This requires all employees to self-manage; have an open attitude to learning; and be willing to engage in constructive disagreement. All individuals who are involved in a task cooperate to organize their work – within the scope of jointly defined rules and targets that everyone adheres to strictly. Control is not exercised by the manager but instead by the team members and also the customers.

The primary function of company management is to ensure that teams do not delegate operational issues back to it. Its task is, above all, to strengthen self-management within the teams and to clear obstacles out of their path so that optimum work results can be achieved. Company management should only intervene directly in exceptional cases and in the strategic context. Teams should handle daily operations independently and autonomously.

Self-organization with Global DiVision

02/06/2020 | Leading and Motivating Virtual Teams

By |2020-06-02T12:20:34+02:00June 2nd, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

The corona crisis has not only contributed to the digital transformation of the working world but has also shown that good team leadership should be a dynamic process that must be continually adapted to meet new requirements. When it comes to virtual team leadership, it is crucial that managers have both conventional management skills as well as the ability to handle the dynamics involved in virtual working relationships. To achieve this Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel, CEO of Global DiVision, recommends that managers use the relevant communication channels, such as email, telephone, or web conferences, and work to build trust across the distance.

Corporate culture is an essential factor in successful, mutually trusting teamwork, whether in the office or remotely. A competent team leader will ensure that employees are well-prepared for the planned change processes, thus contributing to the long-term success of an agile team. It is important to create the technical, organizational, and HR framework conditions.

The existing management concept must be reviewed, at the latest in the run-up to introducing virtual team leadership. It is important to have a “leaders as hosts” mentality as this leverages employees’ identification with the team and company. At this juncture, the “leader as hero” principle should already be a thing of the past. Managers should be established as moderators who bring people together, working with them to solve complex problems instead of exercising control over them.

In the long term, professionalizing virtual teamwork delivers clear benefits. Putting together teams based on members’ specialist qualifications instead of their locations allows companies to utilize local expert knowledge on a global level; to benefit from project work that continues around the clock; and to save costs thanks to lower office rental and power costs. This in turn generates competitive advantages, allowing business processes to be optimized. In addition to this, time and geographical flexibility plus the inherent opportunities make virtual work – and thus the employer – attractive to employees.