A workshop conceived, planned and implemented by teamtischer imanagement for a renowned client working in the specialised mechanical-engineering sector was held in Prague in February, 2013.
The focus of this two-day event was on “Collaboration”. In a highly involving programme, the seventy-nine participants lived out and explored for themselves the opportunities and potentials of functional collaboration within the company.
Stefanie Voss, the communications coach chairing the event, put the relevance of the topic in a nutshell: “Companies frequently underestimate the importance of collaboration. The consequences, when it is absent, can be enormous friction losses”.
“The employees' attitude must be right”. Stefanie Voss sees reaching every individual workshop participant by means of involving activities and tasks as the central element of her work. As she notes, “The decisive factor in successful collaboration is the attitude adopted by the employees, who ask themselves, either directly or indirectly, questions such as: Can I really believe that a colleague in another country or in another business unit can provide useful input to support me? How much do I involve others, even when something has not gone as well as it could have? Only people who approach such questions with an open mind will also collaborate effectively with their colleagues in the future”.
Her conclusion: “For collaboration to work, you have to change not only communication, but also, and above all, every individual's attitude. And that is a great challenge”. Stefanie Voss sees the key to success in her programme's emotional approach, which breaks down into varied play-based training sequences: “Collaboration is fun, and my aim is to teach people to experience it as exactly that”.
Emotional involvement as a workshop success factor. The entire background programme to the workshop also focussed on “Collaboration”. Numerous events, including a welcome dinner in a mood-laden atmosphere and a guided boat tour with jazz-band accompaniment, provided the participants from all over Europe with ample opportunities to exchange ideas, opinions and outlooks in an informal setting.
Martin Tischer, CEO of teamtischer imanagement, summarises the event thus: “The Prague workshop is actually the best example of perfect 'Collaboration', the enormously constructive and professional co-operation with our customer and with our coach, Stefanie Voss, generated two activity-packed days, during which the participants approached the workshop contents with total motivation and openness. As their feedback shows us, it was an experience with long-lasting benefits”.
teamtischer imanagement is active on behalf of a globally present group in the special machines sector. Our task as a strategic partner is that of implementing innovation management continuously at all the company's locations and at all hierarchical levels and making it an efficient corporate management tool.
This company's 25,000 employees in fifty countries frequently take us to faraway places, to China, for example, and one of that country's booming megacities: Suzhou.
In a three-day workshop, teamtischer staff familiarised the company's local middle management – the idea co-ordinators – with the fundamental principles of innovation management, with the target of permanently establishing on a decentralised basis the provisions and targets evolved centrally with top management.
The decisive challenge was that of finding the emotionally right approach for the location and the persons participating – this is the source of lasting motivation and the willingness to incorporate the material learned into everyday working life and pass it on to colleagues.
Greatly differing forms of communication are needed to “strike the right note”, depending on the geographical region and the company itself. The task in Suzhou, for example, was that of dispelling employees' general reservations vis-à-vis a culture of proactive improvement suggestions, and of motivating them to evolve and contribute their own ideas.
During this absorbing, practically orientated workshop, the participants were able to experience the positive effects of personal initiatives and receptiveness to colleagues' suggestions, and to perceive them as opportunities for themselves, as individual employees, and for the organisation. An incentive and checking system which will in future enable the ideas co-ordinators to integrate what they have learned into everyday work at this location was also implemented in parallel.
The results were three days packed with new experiences that made a lasting impression. And: the employees' “ideas rate” has increased by a stunning 4000% since the workshop!
Regular nurturing of your company's innovation culture is of definitive importance: innovations are born only provided their generation is a natural part of your employees' everyday work. Systematisation of the tasks assigned to the individual hierarchical levels is an important tool in achieving this. This definition and apportionment process is conducted co-operatively with top management and the workers' council; this is where targets are defined and then communicated to employees, to serve later as measures of their efficiency.
Regular process observation makes it possible to determine sectors with a high degree of employee involvement and, just as importantly, those where there are problems.
This transparency permits productive solution analysis with the employees concerned, with the aim of eliminating sources of error and evolving specific solution strategies. The perception that ideas contributed benefit not only the company, but also the individual employee's own aims, is in innumerable cases another aid in attaining the targets defined.
In addition to constructive problem analysis, networking of parallel hierarchical levels can also be useful, by opening up new approaches and strategies for mastering the challenges involved in innovation generation for each individual employee.
A constructive approach of this type boosts motivation and inaugurates collective interchange of knowledge in the network for the future.
Corporate growth is becoming ever more dependent on companies' capabilities for innovation. Top management in Germany is increasingly recognising that innovations are only extremely rarely the chance product of individual employees, and are, instead, the result of integration into an entire corporate philosophy and systematic promotion.
For all the theories and the entrancing vision of every individual employee furthering his or her own career and the company's profitability with his or her ideas, practice proves one thing above all: innovation management is an efficient engine, but it needs a powerful source of energy to drive it.
In other words: you have to continuously provide incentives if you want a regular flow of new ideas from your employees.
In an age in which tasks are becoming ever more complex, time-schedules tighter and personal responsibility ever greater, it need scarcely be said that employees frequently have difficulty in providing this input.
So how can we put the topic of “My improvement suggestion” at the top of every individual employee's daily “to do” list? Systematic internal employee campaigns, conducted at regular intervals within the company by teamtischer, are a highly efficient incentive system.
These communications methods, thanks to their human approach, are extremely well received by employees. They score, firstly, with their pure originality, which addresses the employees positively and emotionally in their everyday environment. In addition, via incentives, they transmit your company's appreciation of its employees.
The results: excellent participation rates every time, plus large volumes of high-quality – and usable – ideas.
Personal emotionalisation of the topic for every individual employee thus makes innovation management a natural part of corporate culture.
Companies are increasingly recognising the potentials of innovation management, and of ideas management, in particular, for enhancement of enterprise value. Both can also permanently boost employee motivation and satisfaction at the same time. teamtischer imanagement supports renowned German and international companies in the implementation and control of ideas management systems on the basis of the decentralised managerial staff model. In close co-operation with the companies' various hierarchical levels, we conduct corporate analyses and evolve individually tailored programmes, which are then implemented with comprehensive process support, thus permitting the generation, quantification and rewarding of employees' suggestions for improvements. Companies value our holistic methods, which translate analytical parameters into practice and are especially noted for their high degree of empathy for employees of the most diverse range of cultures and societies.
CEO: Martin Tischer
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President of the Board of Directors: Martin Tischer
CEO: Dominik Hug