Yes, all in Siemens! That is what I am experiencing since November 2020 and is not the first time that I have such a diverse experience in the same company. I have been working for Siemens for 13 years now. First in my natal Mexico by wearing helmet and security boots visiting automation customers. Then, I started working in Germany, dealing with several European countries to push the low-voltage business. Now as Technical Sales for Digitalization, I am turning to the start-up mode to usher in digital solutions for the Siemens Smart Infrastructure business unit “Distribution Systems” in Erlangen, Germany.
What is great about this change of mode is to learn different working cultures and then to have an ambidextrous mindset to know when to “activate” one method or another. It is all about culture! And I could mention perhaps thousands of differences, but in the end, all point to one thing: Agility.
Corporate mode, or start-up mode, that is the question?
In my experience, the corporate mode works perfectly to exploit existing innovations when you do not need to re-invent the wheel. Still, you want to have a staging innovation that keeps the business on the state-of-the-art. On the other hand, the start-up mode fits better to explore new technologies when new and disruptive innovations want to be created. The perfect match is when both exploration and exploitation are combined to keep a business sustainable and leaping into the future. That’s precisely what I have experienced since joining my current team in November 2020. My colleagues went for an exploration approach and could develop a cloud software application for primary substations in a fantastic time.
Jumping into the digitalization river
I had to jump into an already moving, fast boat of digitalization. Also, I had to catch-up and paddle with the same speed and strength as my colleagues in record time to enable a sales strategy, all working from home due to the COVID pandemic.
Everything runs perfectly although, I have seen my colleagues only two times in person. I believe there are two reasons behind: firstly, the existing team culture based on trust, communication, ideas sharing, entrepreneur mindset of doing what we think is necessary to get things done and secondly, getting out of the comfort zone, taking even part in fields where we had no experience before. This is what agility means to our team today. Suppose I have to see myself as an individual. In that case, it points towards being open to change and implementing new ways of working. This also means having an attitude to contribute, trying to make things better rather than “tell me what to do” and confidence in what you are doing.
Confidence the best change management tool
This point, I would say, is crucial to bring digitalization to life, as in any significant change is expected is to find resistance in many aspects. The most common feeling is paddling upstream. So, it requires empowerment, a lot of team support to enrich your decisions and self-motivation to remember that what you are doing is right and worth it. Nevertheless, it is precisely this situation that makes it doubly satisfying to be on the digitalization side. When things start to move in the right direction, it is serotonin pure!
In the end, the best mode to be in is the one that makes us feel happy, the one that does not make us think about work-life-balance, but about life and work as one part of it. Being in an environment that matches what we want and makes us feel alive makes this vision possible.
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