14/05/2019 | Agile Working – A Guide, Part #1

By |2019-05-14T15:34:29+02:00May 14th, 2019|Allgemein|

Considering the huge technical advances of the last 20 years and corresponding changes to our daily working lives, it is surprising how little the organizational and hierarchical structures of most companies have changed. In fact, many of them still have the same structures as in the era of the shorthand pad, telex and typewriter.
To be able to keep pace with ever shorter innovation and product cycles it is, however, imperative that companies become more flexible and dynamic. The magic term for this is “agile working” and is far more than just a new trend…
This was also the case for the client, a service provider with a national structure, who asked Global DiVision for help with implementation. The existing, classic top-down organization was no longer able to keep pace with the fast-moving market, particularly with regard to new business. The question was not whether the company needed to become more agile but rather how.

Independent Teamwork
The implementation of agile working requires the company to be literally turned on its head. The pyramid is reversed, with managers now supporting the broad platform on which teams work independently. Control and instruction become support and encouragement. Micro-planning is replaced with clear goals and guidelines, thus allowing the organization to react quickly to changes and unexpected events.

Preparing Agile Structures
Good preparation is essential, particularly for the new team role. A good team is always made up of very diverse characters. More freedom also means more accountability. Staff who work independently must also take responsibility for their mistakes. Highly qualified, committed employees are usually happy to take up this challenge. Others, in contrast, may feel more comfortable working to the best of their abilities to complete tasks that have been assigned to them – and have no desire to take on more responsibility. Managers, in turn, may fear the loss of control and be unable to see how they fit into the new system.
Human Resources and the management tier play a central role in the introduction of agile structures and processes. Success is directly dependent on the composition of the teams. New employees in particular should be selected for their high level of self-autonomy and also because they actively seek it. “Team-building processes should receive professional support, either from a correspondingly trained HR department or from competent external consultants such as Global DiVision,” says the Human Resources Director.
In the final instance, such restructuring cannot simply be decided and implemented. Agile organizational structures must be developed step-by-step, with the company growing into the new structure. Employees and lower/middle management in particular must be carefully prepared and involved. Failure to do so will result in the process backfiring.
Do you too wish to work professionally with new flexibility?

07/05/2019 | The Right Approach for Every Personality in the Office

By |2019-05-07T13:44:54+02:00May 7th, 2019|Allgemein|

Is it possible to reduce the number of illnesses in a wholesale and foreign trade company by an amazing twelve percent within 18 months? “It is; and it is very simple,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision.

Her team was called because more and more chairs were staying empty in the open-concept offices of the company in the heart of Madrid. The employees were not missing because of colds or stomach flu, but rather partly because of serious psychological problems. “We analyzed this and quickly established that the work load was not the greatest stress factor, but rather it was the noise.” Ringing telephones, the various ring
tones of cell phones, the beeping of computers and photocopiers and, of course, the dear colleagues talking with the loudness of a long distance call that actually would not require a telephone.

Even far below a noise level of 85 decibels, noise can make you sick; especially when it is not perceived as disturbing. “Noise is an independent risk factor for heart and circulatory illnesses,” warns the cardiologist, who was brought in by Global DiVision because of the symptoms of the staff. The noise creates stress reactions where hormones like adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol are released. That in turn increases blood pressure and heart rates which can even cause a heart attack. “Such noisier and noisier open-concept offices of the 1990s were also popular with us,” says the Spanish partner of GDIC. “Today, they are just as disreputable as large scale livestock farming.”

The result was health management with support with the help of the tradesmen. They renovated the office halls into successively smaller units for a maximum of three people, which not only seriously dropped the noise level, but also the number of sick people.

You also want to have healthy employees?

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

By |2019-04-25T12:25:38+02:00April 30th, 2019|Allgemein|

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 |2019-04-23T16:33:54+02:00April 23rd, 2019|Allgemein|

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 |2019-04-25T13:47:33+02:00April 16th, 2019|Allgemein|

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 |2019-04-25T13:45:20+02:00April 9th, 2019|Allgemein|

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

02/04/2019 | Order is Essential

By |2019-04-23T16:40:37+02:00April 2nd, 2019|Allgemein|

How was it again, that somebody had to keep watch over a sack of fleas? Global DiVision slipped into the unusual role of providing consulting services to consultants and establishing rules as to how to keep an eye on mobile employees: “The job came from an internationally positioned management consultant,” Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.) reports. And what her team had to accomplish seemed a tiny bit like looking in a mirror, because: “The colleagues commissioned us because nobody places any value on what a prophet says in his own house.”

The CEO of Global DiVision describes the starting situation candidly: “Of course, the consultants are constantly on the road with their customers. While the Dutch parent company is completely relaxed about it, the project manager in the German subsidiary is only half-relaxed and his counterpart in China is seriously upset if his employees don’t report in with a status report at least once a day.” Therefore, there had to be a standard that was both international and intercultural with which the bosses around the globe could regain their peace of mind.

“With the introduction of the “3rd Friday” and set meetings at the start of the project, milestone meetings and celebrating the success together at the end of the project, we have already taken a major step in the right direction,” says Monika Kilb, partner at Global DiVision knowingly. And the Dutch CIO suspects: “This will simplify international project management for us above all, and we can more easily hire out our consultants to our own subsidiary companies in the interest of our customer projects.”

If you also have to keep watch over a flock

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

By |2019-03-26T19:41:16+02:00March 26th, 2019|Allgemein|

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 |2019-03-21T14:01:14+02:00March 19th, 2019|Allgemein|

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 |2019-03-21T13:57:06+02:00March 12th, 2019|Allgemein|

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

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