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21/05/2019 | Agile Working – A Guide, Part #2

By |2019-05-28T11:08:49+02:00May 21st, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

After taking a look at the “what” and “why” last week, we now turn our attention to the “how” and “what for”.

Tips for Fast Implementation
The Agile Working concept cannot be introduced into an entire company overnight. It is, however, perfectly suited for introduction to small units or processes, that in turn function as pilots before the concept is gradually expanded to the whole:

  1. Communication: Daily stand-up meetings lasting not more than 15 minutes are held to discuss the tasks for that day. What is on the day’s agenda; what is required to achieve tasks; who can help who?
  2. Transparency: Project progress is displayed in a central location to provide visible and transparent information to everyone. All tasks are noted on post-its and placed in “To do”, “Pending”, and “Done” categories (columns). Every task is assigned to a team member. Anyone who has finished their task helps the others with theirs.
  3. Feedback: Team meetings are held every two weeks to develop specific proposals for improvements that will be taken up and implemented in the coming two weeks.

Agile Working for Projects
Projects are also excellent vehicles for the introduction of agile working. Three steps will quickly result in greater agility:

  1. Sub-Projects: The overall project is broken down into sub-projects. Each sub-project is noted on a post-it and add to the “To do” column on the wall. The sub-projects are ranked by priority to create a small road map. Following this, each one is broken down into specific tasks that are assigned to individual team members, again creating specific tasks for each employee.
  2. Short-Term Planning: Planning is limited to the next and next-but-one sub-project; the information available for subsequent sub-projects is often too vague, resulting in chaos within the team.
  3. Client Perspective: The outcomes of sub- and entire projects are formulated from the client perspective. This ensures that the project does not become an end in itself – team members do not lose sight of the goal and can react independently and in the client’s interests if problems arise.

Creating Agile Frameworks
If the pilot projects are successful and the company wishes to leverage the use of agile working, then the Scrum and Kanban agile management frameworks can be set up. While there is very little actual difference between the two, Scrum is generally considered to be more highly regulated, while Kanban is more transparent but can quickly become somewhat chaotic. In practice, a hybrid of both concepts is frequently used. Introduction of the framework can, in itself, be viewed as an agile project and thus be adjusted step-by-step to meet specific requirements.

The Advantages of an Agile Company
The key to successful implementation is the will of the employees and support from management. If all individuals desire this corporate culture; take responsibility; and consider themselves to be team players, then the entire company will benefit from:

  • Efficient working
  • The ability to react fast to changes
  • Continuous product improvements
  • Being highly attractive to skilled and committed workers

Agility with Global DiVision

30/04/2019 | Dictionary of Business Etiquette: CAPITAL LETTERS and !!!!!!! – Or How to Write an Email

By |2019-05-27T11:23:35+02:00April 30th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Whole sentences written in capitals, followed by an arbitrary number of exclamation marks. Sometimes emails can look as if the author fell asleep with their head on the keyboard.

Chats, emails, and text messages have significantly changed the face of written communications. Where once neat, expressive handwriting in a personal letter impressed the reader, today we find ourselves confronted with emojis that stick their tongues out; shouty sentences written in capitals; mysterious abbreviations; and high-ranking individuals using language that was formerly reserved for cartoon characters. Sooo sad, very, very sad!!!!!!!

“The difficulty with communicating via emails is the total lack of non-verbal signals such as tone of voice or facial expressions. Some people respond to this by using the above-mentioned items in an attempt to make their message clearer,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). We should, however, be careful not to overuse such written signals.

Capital letters are the next step up from an exclamation mark, both of which should be used sparingly. An exclamation is an oral statement that we make when afraid, needing help, or angry. Someone who writes in capitals and finishes off with a few exclamation marks clearly needs a lot of help. IN ADDITION TO THIS, WHOLE SENTENCES WRITTEN IN CAPITALS ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO READ. See what we mean?

So, before you use the next exclamation mark, stop to consider whether you would also shout out loud what you have written to the recipient if you were talking face-to-face. No? Then don’t do it in an email either.

23/04/2019 | The Small Difference

By |2019-05-27T11:24:40+02:00April 23rd, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Men and women are different. Whether the difference is large or small is a matter for academics and probably also secondary. If, however, women are paid less for doing the same job as men – simply because they are women – then a small difference becomes a huge injustice.

In such cases the focus is frequently on the man, who is exercising his power; keeping the woman down; or trying to protect his position. That women also bear responsibility for the game – frequently allowing themselves to be tripped up in negotiations by exactly the qualities that otherwise make the positive difference between them and men – is something that women are often not aware of.

“Women’s behavior,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, “often focuses more on outcomes and relationships. They place more value on including others; pay more attention to not offending others. This begins in their childhoods. The distinguished linguistics professor Deborah Tannen, for example, has studied how boys and girls behave and discovered that boys form gangs with clearly defined hierarchies. Nothing happens until it is clear who is the chief and who will be tied to the totem pole today. Girls interact differently. Everyone gets her say, is included. This is, of course, related to a specific type of language acquisition and this language continues on into our working lives.”

The consequence is, however, often that women take things that are said in negotiations personally. Even though the other person’s brash or aggressive statements are often nothing more than part of their strategy. We need to be aware of this when negotiating, thus ensuring that our emotions don’t get in the way.

Women like to act intuitively, following their gut feeling. This not a good starting position for negotiations. If you do not have a best-case objective that you want to achieve; if you have not defined a bottom line that will see you breaking off discussions, then you will not be able to pursue a clear line during the negotiations.

State a clear figure – without then going into lots of detail about why you think this figure is justified. Let the others talk. So that you can then react. Do not give up your demand too quickly – and if you start to go around in circles, then expand the options to include additional elements. This will provide the other side with more leeway without you having to sacrifice your base position.

And if none of this leads to a successful outcome, then terminate the negotiations for the time being. Summarize a few points that both sides agree on and what still needs to be resolved. State that you do not presently see any possibility of reaching an agreement. Then move on to a small talk topic while packing your things together and leave the room with some conciliatory words.

Do not allow the situation to escalate so far that positions become entrenched. Play the feminine “empathy” card. Give the other side time to review the situation and possibly reassess your “value” so that you can then resume negotiations later on a totally different level.

The best negotiators are the ones who treat their partners cooperatively, enabling both sides to save face. And that is undoubtedly a feminine strength!

Successful negotiations with Global DiVision

16/04/2019 | Must a Conductor Be Able to Play the Violin?

By |2019-05-27T11:28:22+02:00April 16th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Can it be that almost any shepherd can manage better than a manager? “Yes,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). The CEO of Global DiVision knows that the era of technical experts is coming to a close. The ones who know their products and production systems don’t necessarily have the required basic knowledge when it comes to the area of employee management and social skills. “It is time that we give management experts their own job descriptions,” continues Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.).

Here, the focus is shifted from technical competence to competence in the area of employee management. Employee orientation and social skills should be communicated in targeted coaching sessions. Instead of planning the workdays purely for technical topics, adequate time windows are reserved for pure management tasks.

The CEO derives her thoughts from an assignment of her team to a French telecommunications service provider. There, senior and junior management eked out a place beside the company founder in hierarchical structures. “And we are now putting this way of thinking onto a brand new foundation,” reports Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). Global DiVision and Partner needed 14 months until, after initial difficulties, employee management now functions without the classical insignias of power. Initial stocktaking by the Senior Vice President of the communication giant: “Our status of employee illness and fluctuation have dropped noticeably.”

“Conductors‘ Education” with Global DiVision

09/04/2019 | Management by Walking Around: Monkeys, Moles, and All Kinds of Stumbling Blocks

By |2019-05-27T11:29:41+02:00April 9th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Management by Walking Around (MBWA) refers to a style of business management that involves the boss leaving his/her customary habitat and embarking on the adventure of walking around the company and engaging directly with his/her employees.

And, as should be the case for a real adventure, this kind of expedition can involve lots of exciting moments but also dangerous encounters. And if, like Indiana Jones, you dive into the MBWA adventure unprepared you should not be surprised if you discover some exotic animals…

Monkeys
If the boss takes a relaxed morning walk around the production area, stopping occasionally to ask how things are going, he/she should not be surprised to find employees seizing the opportunity to offload a problem (the monkey) onto him/her. When an employee tells their boss about a problem, then one of the main reasons for doing so is the hope that the boss, as someone higher up the chain, can solve it. So the boss now has the monkey on his/her back.
After a few conversations, the boss will have the corresponding number of monkeys on his/her back and react by trying to offload them onto others. Why is it so untidy here? Do our quality control targets really specify this? Do the crates have to be here? Also, when he/she becomes aware of all these grievances, he/she will, of course, make sure that they are resolved. Immediately – without including the employee’s direct superior…

Moles
In such cases a good boss will generally want to know all the facts. Questions will be asked regarding the background to, and reasons for, the grievances. Culprits will be looked for. And at this point things become uncomfortable for the employee who brought the issue up. The information they give becomes vaguer – the individuals responsible are elsewhere; it’s all to do with “IT”, “processes”, “quality problems”. Whatever has happened or is said, “the others” are always to blame. The boss, however, wants to know the facts; pursues the issue inside the company;

searches for the source, maybe even the culprit. He/she digs and digs – a mole with a monkey on its back.
Seeing the boss in such a position is not good – either for him/her or for the employees. He/she is frustrated and, at the end of the day, also powerless. Employees experience a boss who kicks up a lot of dust without being able to solve the problem.

So there are some important rules to learn before you set off on your first expedition.

If You Ask, You Learn
Steer conversations by asking specific questions and without wanting to solve problems. Do not make assumptions; do not assign work tasks; do not make judgements.
On the one hand, this will allow you to gain a valuable, because differentiated, picture at grass roots and, on the other, to show others your interest and appreciation.

Go Through Official Channels
Has the employee already discussed the grievance with his/her direct superior? If not, then ask them to do so. If yes, then ask them to do so again or take action themselves by proposing a solution together with the co-worker. Do not try to solve the problem, but instead to initiate the process of finding a solution.
When walking around remember that what you see is only a snapshot. Before you react, look to see if the situation has changed when you take your next walk around. If not and if there is time, then let the direct superior know at your next regular meeting. Only if there is no other way to deal with the situation should you organize a special meeting to discuss the issue – and you should offer your support, not assign blame.

Coaching not Inspection
If the actual conditions that you experience during your walk-arounds begin to increasingly deviate from the descriptions of the relevant managers in charge, then the managers obviously do not have the confidence to tell you the truth. Creating the trust that this requires is one of the most important aspects of your leadership. Stop inspecting and start coaching. Make yourself part of the team instead of the referee.
“Based on our experience to date,” says the COO of a leather goods manufacturer, “we can wholeheartedly recommend the “Management by Walking Around” tool. Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel and the team of Global DiVision,” continues the COO “has taught us that it is important to make sure that we don’t collect or pass on “monkeys” during walk-arounds. During our brief conversations it is better to focus on asking questions, listening, and learning.”

How to get the monkey off your back

26/03/2019 | Dictionary of Business Etiquette: Buzzwords or Can You Hear What You Are Actually Saying?

By |2019-05-27T11:47:15+02:00March 26th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Language has always been a means to distinguish the speaker from others. Foreign words, anglicisms, scientific jargon, legalese – the list is endless when describing the way in which we speak not only to communicate but also to clarify status.

In an era in which everyone wants to be young, hip, and cool, a raft of words and expressions have come into being that can actually only be used if we don’t listen closely to ourselves.

“Please send me an email about this” or, as the next escalation level, “Let’s sync on this”. In reality all this means is that your dialog partner has failed to pay the slightest attention to what you said and is asking you to tell them again in writing.
That doesn’t bother you? Or as Germans may say, you’re “fine damit”? Those of us who feel uncomfortable with such a mishmash of languages should simply change over to English, proving that we are “on the same page” as everyone else – a much better idea! Another illustration of the way that English and German are currently being combined is “asap”. This amusing abbreviation of “as soon as possible”, a joke that had already become unfunny in the 1990’s, has done more than satisfy the deep-seated German obsession with space-saving abbreviations. No, it has become a superlative that is also used as a comparative. Something that is more urgent than “asap” is “asaper” and if that is still not forceful enough, Germans can ask for something “asapest”.

So please – listen to yourself occasionally and correct the expressions you use asap. This would be a win-win situation that everyone is fine with. Of course, we can also sync on this – simply write us. Go for it. That would be awesome …

19/03/2019 | Diversity not Uniformity

By |2019-06-26T09:18:19+02:00March 19th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

For a number of years now the Global DiVision team has been assisting a world leader in logistics with the implementation of its diversity strategy. This collaboration has produced some important milestones for the corporation, that employs 480,000 workers around the world and views diversity as an elementary component of its corporate culture.

German Diversity Day
The global event, developed together with GDIC, gives 120 facilities around the world an opportunity to make their own contributions to the topic while also raising the consciousness of all sites and employees.

Management Board Declaration and Web Training Module
In 2016 the management board, prompted and accompanied by GDIC, issued a declaration on diversity and inclusion. A multi-lingual web training module ensures that it is more than a declaration of intent but rather communicates and implements content throughout the corporation.

Diversity Council
At GDIC’s suggestion a high-level corporate body was set up to provide an organizational framework for all such current and future activities. The “Diversity Council”, including senior executives and led by the Chief HR Officer, is supported at the operational level by the Corporate Diversity department and the Diversity Core Team.

All of these activities have resulted in the development of a genuine corporate culture, instead of merely being a PR measure. This type of internationally networked corporation has no option but to positively exploit the diversity of its employees and their influence.

Today, this may still be an issue that mainly concerns corporations. In the near future, however, the results of digitization and globalization could also make it a crucial element in the success or failure of medium-sized companies and start-ups.

Diversity with Global DiVision

12/03/2019 | Coworking Space – The 10 Golden Rules

By |2019-06-26T09:20:22+02:00March 12th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

For years now our working world has been undergoing a transformation that seems to have only just begun and will bring major changes in the way we interact and work. A key aspect of the new workplace culture is “coworking space”.

But how does it function? Concerned about investing money wrongly and reducing productivity, a 70-year old mechanical engineering company commissioned Global DiVision’s specialists to identify which solutions were the right ones for it.

“An analysis phase including questionnaires and a series of workshops resulted in “10 golden rules” for the company,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel, CEO of Global DiVision.

1. Fun is not the only reason you are here!

The focus is on work! Not leisure activities. The aim is to work productively and successfully. What is required is a professional attitude – in a relaxed atmosphere.

2. Togetherness

If you have the opportunity to choose a desk in the communal area, then take one near co-workers with similar work profiles. It can be very helpful to swap experiences and support each other by offering advice.

3. Discretion

An open atmosphere; interaction; and uncomplicated, direct communications are key advantages of coworking. But beware! Many different levels of the hierarchy are working alongside one another – and not everything is intended for everyone. Coworking concepts must include single offices and meeting rooms. And personal matters should remain personal – see Rule # 1.

4. Consideration

The system’s strength– the open atmosphere – is also its greatest weakness. Lot’s going on; loud music; lively phone calls; animated conversations. But the person one desk away may be working hard on the most important presentation of their career…
So be considerate. “Your own freedom ends where other people’s begins.”

5. Respect

Even if you rarely use your desk or many other coworkers are travelling or also working at other locations – when you are there, then you are part of a larger group. One cog in eh wheel, just like all the others. Be sure to remember this, even if things are not going the way you want them to.

6. Equality

Coworking brings together a diverse range of people; experiences; and biographies. It only functions if everyone treats everyone else as equals. Don’t judge what happened in the past, work together on the future.

7. Order

While creative chaos may be great, it does not include leftover food; empty bottles; or a desk that is piled sky high. These are not things that your coworkers or customers want to see. Creative chaos requires a certain level of order and space to develop its full potential, otherwise it’s merely chaos.

8. Community Manager

You could also call him or her the “feel good manager”. Companies setting up this kind of working environment should make sure that they appoint a central point of contact for organizational, logistical, and also social issues. This will free everyone else up to concentrate on core issues.

9. Social Area Reloaded

Taking a break doesn’t just mean having a rest. It’s really about clearing your head, not continuing to discuss marketing strategy while drinking coffee. Corresponding facilities in the social area can help in this regard. Many a mental block has been removed by a game of table soccer!

10. Afterwork

Coworking spaces are breaking down the classic boundaries of the working world, and the same applies to the transition from working to leisure time. Organized after-work events can deepen relationships; provide space for new ideas; and offer the opportunity to enter into a dialog with invited trendsetters, thus further developing corresponding topics.

Coworking with Global DiVision

05/03/2019 | Development Assistance

By |2019-06-26T09:22:21+02:00March 5th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

Global DiVision has proven that with intercultural competence, doors can open even many thousands of kilometers away. Together with a partner from Kyoto, Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.) and her team are assisting a Japanese automobile manufacturer to optimize its leasing business in Germany.

“This was not a routine job,” says the CEO, particularly since the country-wide marketing research had to be coordinated, realized and cast into a suitable strategy with the customer in the Far East by GDIC. “In Japan, we had to explain what differences there are in the German leasing market and the reason why previous procedures cannot be carried over without change.”

However, the effort was worth it: With the support of Global DiVision, the strategic planning of the future service was completed just short of one year after the start. That fact that the customer learned to appreciate the cooperation during this time is proven by the fact that subsequent projects are now being tackled together in two more European countries.

That is how it is with Global DiVision

26/02/2019 | Dictionary of Business Etiquette: Polite & Discreet

By |2019-06-26T09:26:20+02:00February 26th, 2019|Newsletter ENG|

We all know the situation – someone gets really angry; starts shouting; and loses control. Giving the impression that they are ridiculous and helpless rather than self-possessed. You should therefore remember to stay calm and be polite but firm. Documented criticism, made quietly but clearly, will always be streets ahead of a tantrum.

What is, however, even more important is that private criticism should remain private. It is not something that should be shared with the rest of the world. Always be sure to conduct such conversations one on one. This will ensure that the other person will not be embarrassed but instead receive valuable feedback on how they could do things better in future. This applies to criticism from both the bottom up as well as from the top down. Your boss should also be self-assured enough to be able to deal with having possible errors pointed out to him or her. If this is not the case, then why not point this out – in private?

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