Despite digitization in the economy and society, face-to-face interactions are are still as important as they ever were. This was clearly evident at BestPractice Day 2018, which was organized by corporate consultant Staufen. Held in to Darmstadt, Germany in early July, Europe’s leading lean-management conference set new records in terms of participation: some 400 decision makers from the business world and the industry were on site.
“Seeking out personal dialogue is not a sign of clinging to old-fashioned ways — on the contrary, it is the most important prerequisite for focusing on the future,” said Wilhelm Goschy, CEO of Staufen, in his opening words. “An ongoing exchange of information and constantly learning from each other are both essential cornerstones of business success — today and in the future.”
This insight was confirmed by the the Best Strategy 2018 study: in the months before the conference, Staufen surveyed over 200 German companies that are global market leaders. These businesses cited an open leadership and management culture and adaptability as some of their most important success factors. Companies with above-average profits are particularly consistent in applying this leadership philosophy.
Without a well-developed sense of adaptability, companies will encounter more and more difficulties in the future when it comes to keeping up with the accelerating speed at which things are changing. “Artificial intelligence will change our lives at three times the speed that the Internet has in the past fifteen years,” as Lars Thomsen, a futurologist from the Swiss think tank future matters, warned the audience.
Thomsen is not concerned that artificial intelligence will make humans redundant, however; he even expects the human factor in the working world to grow in importance. “Within ten years at the latest, status symbols such as fast cars or deliberately forgoing vacation time to maximize earnings will lose their appeal. Businesses will have to transform into a community of shared values.”
Best Strategy 2018: What global market leaders in Germany do better
For the spring 2018 study entitled “Best Strategy 2018: What global market leaders in Germany do better,” the corporate consultant Staufen surveyed a total of 210 German companies that are global market leaders either in their industry or in their segment. 40% of the companies surveyed are global players with annual sales of over €500 million. Of those who took part in the study, 42% were owners, members of the board or CEOs of their respective businesses; another 38% were department heads. The companies predominantly represented the automotive industry, mechanical and plant engineering, and the electrical industry. A copy of the study is available by contacting Kathrin Kurz, firstname.lastname@example.org