"Conflict is the father of progress"

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On average, employees spend 12% of their work time involved in conflicts. In companies with more than 500 employees, even higher conflict tendencies can be observed. Mediation is one of the most promising methods of thwarting this trend. 

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First Portland Future of Work Conference - ti communication was there

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The CEO of ti communication USA, Inc., Sabine Amend discovered in Portland new trends concerning the future or work. Read about her experience:  

In an open space format, over 100 participants explored a wide range of topics on the “Future of Work”.

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"Emotional intelligence for mutual understanding" - eMag Interview (6)

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Life in a strange culture is full of the potential for unexpected social mistakes, the stumbling blocks in the professional paths of employees working abroad. Cross-cultural trainers are here to prepare our colleagues for unfamiliar territory and to help them reflect about other cultures based on existing clichés. The eMag series "Cultures, Communication and Clichés" is dedicated to this fascinating vocation. Today Sabine Amend speaks with us about cross-cultural learning strategies and tells us about the connection between cross-cultural skills and the development of emotional intelligence. Her specialty area: development of international leadership skills in the USA.

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Leadership in International Projects: GPM visiting the workshop classrooms of ti communication

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Leadership in International Projects: GPM visiting the workshop classrooms of ti communication

On December 7th, the head of the GPM regional group Regensburg, Dr. rer. pol. Christian Eisenschink, opened the event „Leadership in International Projects”. As initiator of the event, he welcomed the attending members and interested guests and emphasized that leadership in international projects requires cooperation on a cultural level as well as on management and personnel levels. Clearly-structured tasks and the right tone are prerequisites. The basic skills and abilities that managers should possess was the topic of the GPM lecture with Anna Corbett at ti communication.

The focus of the lecture was basic skills and abilities that characterise leadership and the expansion of these skills to include an international factor. The participants used the occasion of the lecture "Leadership in International Projects" to expand on and discuss various topics with lecturer Anna Corbett. Specific aspects, such as "cultural hurdles" or "leadership in the matrix", made for lively discussion.

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The Strategy Challenge

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The Strategy Challenge

How can companies develop their strategy or implement an existing one more efficiently? The basis for starting strategy development involves examining essential questions about the future and evaluating how the company will be affected. By including managers and employees in the process, a solution culture is generated which extends beyond conventional delegation. Dieter Dier, speaker at the INTERCHANGE '15, about the strategy challenge.

What is the greatest challenge with regard to the strategy of a company or division?

Developing the strategy or implementing it? Several companies develop a corporate strategy themselves or with the assistance of external consultants. However, many fail in its implementation. In our view, there are two primary reasons for this:

  1. The strategy was developed behind closed doors, considered the boss's job or even "developed after complex analyses" by external parties. The goals and measures for strategy implementation do not sufficiently trickle down to employees, and the organization cannot connect to the new strategy. Neither the goals nor the measures are worked out adequately. There is not enough transparency to offer concrete action options for the operative levels. There are too many loose ends.
  2. The developed strategy is inflexible and cannot respond quickly enough to changes in markets, technologies and environments. The initial innovative energy often transforms into an appeal to do ever more of the same at an ever faster pace. More and more often, momentum must come from "above" in order to impel those "below" to continue.

In other words, the approach lacks an integration into the organization and developmental dynamics.

The challenging aspects of strategy development are the creation processes and their implementation. An integrated strategy process is needed, one which ensures the participation of the implementers as well

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Developing management competencies for tomorrow here and now

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Developing management competencies for tomorrow here and now

Sabine Amend, speaker at the INTERCHANGE '15, about changig demands on executives in an increasingly global and complex world.

Small, medium-sized and very large companies ask themselves: If the world changes in the next 10 years at as fast a rate or faster than in the past 20 years – what will we be facing? What competencies must managers master in order to endure in this turbulent world? The challenge for HR and managers is the complexity of the situation: A lot is going to change very quickly - but just how is virtually impossible to predict. Several factors will come together. Global and local interactions will cause surprises and critical, new conditions for organizations. How can companies react? What role will management have? Will foresightful, future-oriented action even still be possible? And if so, how?

Let's start with a snapshot of the present to find answers to these questions:

Global leadership – unlimitedly complex?

A manager from Southeast Asia with international experience is responsible for employees in several Asian countries and western Europe. She works for a German corporation. Now, for the first time, she is working in an American/multicultural environment in southern California: The German corporation purchased a company with locations in several regions of the USA. The firm's goal is to expedite the standardization of processes – while at the same time keeping the impatient, individualistic American employees motivated. Initial tensions between the expectations of the German head office and the realities in the USA are already showing. How can the manager operate optimally in this multilayered situation?

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Reflection time for managers - The new definition of the leadership role in a highly-globalized world

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Reflection time for managers -  The new definition of the leadership role in a highly-globalized world

Anna Corbet, speaker at the INTERCHANGE '15, about managers' need for "time outs" for reflection and course correction to run the highly complex day-to day management successfully.

Time pressures rule a manager's day, especially the daily business of managers active on a global level. Fast-paced change requires quick decisions and targeted change processes. In addition to demanding professional expertise and leadership tasks, managers are faced with the challenge of constant change, locally as well as globally.

Today, multimedia-based communication, remote management or the need for increased networking are only a few of the challenges that managers must master as a matter of course. Demands with regard to self-management, flexible management competencies due to internationalization and the often highly-complex day-to-day management business require an enhanced handling of one's own leadership role and leadership potential.

However, reality often paints quite a different picture

Employees are promoted into leadership roles and must master the jump to being a manager on their own. Frequently, they keep their entire line-up of tasks and fulfil their management role on top of those. As team leaders, the already manage their co-workers in global locations. People in such leadership positions rise up in the company, and with the move, the demands and expectations put on management, as well as the complexity of management tasks, increase. Management, strategic developments, and initiation and supervision of changes, often on a global level, now take the forefront along with several other issues. Operative tasks should be increasingly delegated. Several managers in middle management frequently still cling too strongly to the operative business, thus becoming trapped in the vortex of performance and time constraints. Discussions from practical situations show that clinging to the operative level is not always the result of day-to-day demands, but rather serves as an anchor of security in an environment of increasing global complexity.

Managers are like top athletes

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Internationalization Strategies - Just how global is your company?

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Internationalization Strategies - Just how global is your company?

German products are known throughout the world under the quality label “Made in Germany”, and several German brands generate the majority of their turnover beyond the borders of their home country. The requirement of having an international presence and being a global player in one’s respective market segment is a matter of course for many medium-sized and large companies. Yet just how far has “international thinking” really come in the management and executive levels of German companies?

Particularly when talk is of international cooperation, there is a variety of models according to which companies orient themselves toward respective partners, subsidiaries or branch offices. In the following, four internationalization strategies will be presented that can help depict the various approaches and behaviours in such interaction.

In the illustration above, the left circle depicts the corporate culture of the home country (which, for purposes of explanation, represents the German head office), whose organizational structure has a grey background; the right circle represents the international partner, whose local circumstances are depicted on a white background.

Polycentric strategy: The German head office and the foreign subsidiaries work well and with little overlap parallel to each other, almost independently.
This strategy is frequently employed for functional internationalization: There is a high degree of independence from the German head office; the corporate management of the partner is adapted to local circumstances; the foreign corporate culture remains intact; there is no exchange of employees and know-how.

Ethnocentric strategy: The environment in the foreign subsidiaries is clearly influenced by German culture, and work is done according to the instructions of the head office.
In the past, it was typically used for institutional internationalization, but is also still a widespread corporate philosophy: Central decisions are made in the head office; the corporate culture and corporate management of the foreign partner are strongly influenced by German methods; a German expatriate has an executive function in the foreign country; hardly any foreign know-how or employees are integrated into the German mode of thinking.

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The First Time – Hurray, I’m the boss now! What makes new managers leaders

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The First Time – Hurray, I’m the boss now! What makes new managers leaders

Suddenly, everything has changed! The employees don’t treat you like a colleague anymore, superiors suddenly expect so much more from you, and then you place yourself under pressure, too. Meeting all expectations is an art form that nowadays unfortunately is often only learned through years of experience. In order to reduce the anxiety and stress of new managers, the teaching of management behaviour and the use of tools and resources provide a solid start to navigating safely through the challenges of everyday management.
In the education of young people, personnel management often plays only a minor role, if any at all. With the best business and technical education in their pocket, they are often met with

a great challenge for which they are largely unprepared. This repeatedly leads to situations where young managers, lacking alternatives, orient themselves toward successful superiors. There is nothing wrong with that per se. However, the question is: Does that represent personal leadership style, or must the imitator invest a disproportionately large amount of energy in being a credible copy? Wouldn’t that energy be more usefully expended elsewhere? Behaviour that is contrary to one’s own values and personality structure costs enormous amounts of energy and leads to frustration and a decline in performance, for the new manager as well as his or her colleagues. The initial enthusiasm of the new person often disappears quickly. Energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand diminish and create resistance.

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Manage Employees – Increase Productivity

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Manage Employees – Increase Productivity

Management training for skilled and management personnel

Management means having a high degree of responsibility. If you want to successfully manage teams, you need not only expert knowledge and skills, but also expertise in employee management. Successfully managing people means increasing the productivity of your company, no matter how large.

A basic prerequisite for managers is dealing with employees in an objective and professional manner. Just as important are empathetic and social skills, needed to promote result-oriented action.

The basic seminar “Managing Employees – Increasing Productivity” provides an initial look at and the fundamentals for day-to-day management in teams, departments and companies. Participants can identify the effect of clear and result-oriented communication and learn how to make their own style more effective.

Setting: The leadership basic seminar is planned as an open or company-internal course on two consecutive days. Ideally, participants would have overnight accommodations at the conference centre, in order to allow them to also come together on a social level.

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