"Facing the future together with Leadership 2020" is an opinion that Laura Beck shares. In her additional function as ambassador for the group-wide Leadership 2020 initiative she is one of a growing group of people who are playing an active role in transforming the culture at Daimler. What role do these ambassadors play when it comes to making the group fit for the future? The 41-year-old reports on her impressions of the Leadership 2020 Summit, and how she fulfils her side role alongside her job as a project coordinator.
Hello Ms. Beck. What did you study and how did you end up at Daimler?
Beck: I studied Computer Science at the Humboldt University of Berlin while also working for Daimler as a working student. After that, I moved to Stuttgart to complete my dissertation, which I did in Daimler's Research & Development division. My professional career started as a project coordinator in the field of product creation processes. I have been working there since 2011.
You are also a Leadership 2020 ambassador. First of all: What is Leadership 2020?
Leadership 2020 is an initiative aimed at redefining our culture of collaboration and management at Daimler. It's about our shared work culture, and that affects all of us regardless of whether we are a manager or employee. Our products, our work environment, the expectations of our customers and lots of other things besides are changing. We also need to become more flexible and efficient in response to these rapid changes, and rethink the way we work. That is why we are seeking to create a new culture of collaboration that gives us strength for the future through a variety of different projects.
And what exactly do you do as a Leadership 2020 ambassador?
The work of an ambassador is voluntary with no prescribed tasks. It is up to everyone to decide how they want to get involved. You can inform others about the transformation of the culture, for example, and encourage them to get involved, or support various different events as an ambassador. I also planned our departmental meeting in accordance with Leadership 2020 principles in order to make the initiative more tangible for my colleagues. An ambassador is motivated by a desire to get more colleagues on board with Leadership 2020, and in so doing to support the transformation of the culture at Daimler.
Why did you decide to take on this role? What motivates you?
When I came back to work following my second maternity leave there were a lot of internal reports about structural changes, digitization and Leadership 2020, which I followed with great interest. In March 2017 the call went out to apply for the Leadership 2020 Summit. I was one of the lucky ones who was chosen to attend with 1,199 of my colleagues. In the two days of the summit I felt that the atmosphere was very special, and that this was the start of something really big. I then felt a strong desire to pass on my enthusiasm for Leadership 2020 to my colleagues and to support the cultural change.
The internal initiative has been running since January 2016. How would you say that the company has developed since then?
I've noticed that a lot has changed with respect to the cooperation and communication between teams and units in particular – and of course that also creates more transparency. Even across all levels of the hierarchy! Individual employees also enjoy more responsibility and freedom. I find that highly motivating!