Balancing People And Purpose In Transformation: How To Create Impactful Change Together

In Episode 44 of MING Labs’ podcast Lost In Transformation, we talk to Dr. Christian Kugelmeier, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at VORSPRUNGatwork, a boutique transformation consultancy.

Listen to this episode to learn about the journey of a personal and intimate sustainable transformation that really focuses on people and purpose — enabled by the company’s high-impact business transformation.

3 Main Takeaways From This Episode

01Apply tried and tested frameworks but stay flexible to adjust your empowering solutions to your client’s needs. “We have a high impact business transformation system in place that we’ve developed. And that basically revolves around the idea of just having sustainable business. It’s about the balance of economic, ecological and social matters.” Keeping these matters constantly balanced while taking care of the whole universe of customers, employees and suppliers, is the whole aim, says Christian.

While his team always follows the same frameworks and underlying beliefs, there is no set standard action as every client and environment is different. On the example of working with his client Elobau, Christian explains how the client’s small group was empowered and given full accountability to solve their problems. “The moment that you change these very big parameters within a company, […] behaviors change.” Based on the learnings “we adapt the structure for the company to be able to work more entrepreneurially.” (Listen from 17:45)

02 Why customer-centricity alone doesn’t work: You have to focus on yourself too. To be able to deliver high impact business transformation, Christian highlights the importance of distinguishing between the so-called business system and operating system. “The business system means that you’re in touch with your clients. So that intersection is very relevant for your business.” It’s everything that happens from you on the outside. “In the operating system, you make sure that you can actually perform towards the business system.” So the operating system is what happens on the inside. “The conjuncture of both is basically your identity and both systems feed that identity.” That is why Christian sees focusing solely on customer-centricity as false, but encourages us to keep the whole universe of employees, suppliers and customers in mind. (Listen from 22:33)

03 Dare to strip away fear to open yourself up to greater opportunities that help drive business transformation. “A very common phenomenon we come across is human fear,” Christian points out as a common challenge in terms of sustainability transformations. “And what we feel is that when leaders start to open up and display a willingness to learn and to listen, everything changes. And we really want to work with customers that have that type of learning attitude.” Christian highlights this attitude combined with trust in yourself and your surroundings as the catalyst for change.

He came across a lot of managers that were too focused on their own career, on not failing, and on sticking with old ways of working to not jeopardize their pension. “But the moment everything opens up, transformation becomes possible.” People want to know that they are contributing to the world, and Christian and his team come in to help leaders to enable that sensation within their employees. “Transformation is always driven either by urgency or vision. Vision is very rare […] but urgency is rising at pace. Every day things become more urgent because every day complexity arises so that the old way of working becomes obsolete.” (Listen from 24:29)

Jump and listen to each chapter from their timestamp here.

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