#NewNormal – What’s next? On my way to the Berlin Urban Tech Summit, I review my keynote´s topic in my head. About 1300 people will tune in today, when I talk about new working environments and digital solutions. Quite logical that the conference is being held fully virtual for the first time this year. The location “A32” in Siemensstadt fits perfectly for today’s event: a production hall in the past, a coworking space and event location today. Simply: #NewNormal.
Once I entered the A32, everything is the same as at any other event. Mask, wiring, and sound check in less than 30 minutes and then: showtime. When it comes to #NewNormal, there are three major subjects that are important to me.
Courage to engage in diversity. Whether you are a large corporation or a small company, diversity will become increasingly important in the future. With this, I do not only address the gender topic. Different generations, different backgrounds and different people will shape the working world of tomorrow. It means having the courage to allow diversity of opinion. And it is worth it! Studies have already proven that diverse teams are more innovative and digital. Diversity is also a competitive factor when it comes to recruiting young talents. More than ever, they are choosing their future employers based on how sustainable and diverse their working environment is.
At some point we simply have to do it. Just take the current home office situation as an example. A lot discussed in recent years, but little implemented. Collaboration online? Seemed impossible for so many companies. Over the past few months, however, we have seen that it works. Despite the pandemic, we are able to meet, discuss and exchange ideas because of digital solutions. The Urban Tech Summit would have never happened this year if it hadn’t been transferred to the virtual world. The doing is the absolute catalyst for #NewNormal
The last point is most important to me: we must put people back in the spotlight. People follow people. It is no longer the case that people follow brands or CEOs. Companies must give their employees the freedom and responsibility to be visible as ambassadors for their brands. They have to put their employees in the center of attention. Especially in the digital world, even the quiet ones have a voice. They are free to choose their channel and determine their own tone and tonality. How do I want to be seen? What is my message? And who should hear it?
There are numerous examples of authentic corporate influencers – here at Siemens, for example.
I am convinced that everything we create #NewNormal will remain. We have to take responsibility, involve all people and then find the courage to get started.