Change the Game – But how? Leadership Development

Our world is changing with breathtaking speed: What is considered as innovative and progressive today can already be obsolete tomorrow. To actively design this transformation and have the ability to respond even more flexibly to the changed conditions, we need a new cultural change. The group-wide initiative Leadership 2020 is to support this at Daimler and is to make the company fit for the future. But what precisely does this mean? Jana Schlinsog deals with this question in her daily work. With her team at the Daimler Corporate Academy, she offers training to managers in order to inspire them for the new leadership understanding and the new kind of work collaboration.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Schlinsog: Hello, I am Jana Schlinsog. I have been with the Daimler Corporate Academy since 2016. My team and I are responsible for the DCA training portfolio on the topic of leadership, which we offer to the team leaders at Daimler. Of course, the leadership transformation achieved through Leadership 2020 plays a big role in this context. Before that, I worked in HR Development and Executive Management at Daimler Financial Services for seven years. I was introduced to the topic complex of continuing education during my study of economics while I was working on my degree thesis at the Daimler Finance Academy.

Your job in one sentence?

We support managers for the successful structuring of their leadership work and the implementation of the advancing cultural transformation at Daimler; in a manner of speaking, we make them fit for this.

Ms. Jana Schlinsog

You are responsible for qualification programs at Daimler and train managers on this topic. What is your daily work like?

We develop new training programs every year and then offer them to colleagues around the world. I am mainly responsible for the operational tasks and primarily for ensuring that the right framework conditions are created so that my team can implement the tasks. In addition, I have substantive and conceptual tasks, such as the selection of future topic complexes, which we want to work on with the managers, and the selection of partners with whom we go into the implementation. In the end, of course, each trainer is the contact person for their respective program. We have experienced that team work results in more multifaceted and better ideas. That's why we increasingly work together during the preparation for the training courses of the respective programs.

Why is it even necessary to offer training on the topic of "Change"?

Our goal is to anchor Leadership 2020 in all areas of the company. As so often happens on the topic of change, this doesn't happen from one day to the next. Our programs are to help the participants to scrutinize, learn perspectives and recognize the possibilities for their own jobs. Changes, which arise from such things as agility, feedback and digitalization, are to become even more tangible because these are the very topics we are dealing with and will also be driving in the future.

Do you have any other points of contact with the topic of Leadership 2020?

Since 2016, I have been active as team leader for Leadership, as well as working in parallel with an agile project group (Game Changer) on the topic of "Leadership Role and Development". For example, this project group was concerned with refining and further developing new leadership principles. In addition, we have developed numerous new learning formats.

What challenges do you face in your daily work?

One challenge is to integrate the current topics and new challenges in the daily business quickly into the training portfolio. Frequently, there are changes or new aspects. This requires that our team and our trainers must always think a step ahead.

How is your team structured and how do you live Leadership 2020?

My team is comprised of male and female colleagues of different backgrounds. We are a colorful mix of very experienced and not so experienced program managers and trainers, Community managers and eLearning experts. We work together a great deal with our colleagues from Japan, India, USA and Germany. Of course, we also implement Leadership 2020 in the team. For example, we are much more open and give each other feedback much more frequently than before – in all directions. In addition, we are actively practicing a culture of work collaboration, in which mistakes are allowed, and it is only important how they are dealt with and what is learned from them. We trust one another and always find a solution together. The way in which we work together also plays an important role: Our daily routine includes the use of agile methods and short daily meetings, in which we keep each other up-to-date and generate as much transparency as possible. And, not least, we have a lot of fun working together.

What profiles are increasingly in demand in your area?

We are looking for male and female colleagues who are curious, enjoy life-long learning and like to work with people – of course, at the international level as well. An open and communicative approach, high flexibility for new topics and conceptual skills are optimal qualities for a trainer's job with us.

Why did you choose Daimler as your employer? What do you find particularly exciting about your current job?

What interested me and appealed to me was that the industry is undergoing a transformation and Daimler is in the process of redefining itself. Here, there are many different possibilities for development, and that worldwide. In my current position, it is especially exciting that I am not only able to experience the change first-hand with my team, but also that we are co-designing the future ourselves.

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