My connection with Manres spans over ten years of working together to accomplish multiple success stories. Eppendorf itself is a highly successful company with a strong tradition and fantastic products.
Precisely because of this (and not "despite this"), we want and need to seek and pursue new challenges from our position of strength. Ultimately, the recipes for success from the past are no guarantee for future success. Only by constantly developing individuals, teams and the entire company towards greater quality can we ensure our success. Key goals of the current transformation are an agile company culture and uncompromising customer proximity and focus, carried by aspects such as greater responsibility for each individual and the courage to change. Not only through my long relationship with Manres do I know that behind every successfully implemented functional or operational aspect, there is a matching mindset and culture which is embodied by individuals, teams and the culture of the entire organization (note: culture = the sum of all the individual employees’ ways of behaving). The challenge of transformation lies in getting all parts of the organization throughout the entire world equally on board, raising their enthusiasm and spurring them on to sustainable top performance. In practical terms, we are experiencing this, for example, in our change to a global matrix structure. For this to succeed, it takes a new way of working together: being there for each other, in everything we do.
Manres: Their Role and Approach
The company’s leadership serves as an indispensable role model during the transformation process. This is why we started with workshops for the company leaders, enabling us to critically and constructively engage with ourselves, the cultural side of transformation and its link to strategy. In the process, we also developed a new guiding principle, consisting of Eppendorf’s vision, mission and values. This unites our rich history and heritage with a compelling vision of the future. Through individual transformation processes, specific teams and key persons learned to leverage their potentials, enabling them by means of individual remote coaching sessions and workshops to achieve the vision through development topics like personal responsibility (authorship), relationship-building and feedback – core elements of a culture. By interweaving and continually coordinating the cultural measures with other initiatives (such as go-to-market and innovation), we made sure that the cultural side worked hand in hand with the functional and operational side.
We are convinced that our top managers, with their leadership behavior and status as role models for transformation, are the greatest levers for success. During three major events spread out across the world, we brought together a total of 300 managers to create momentum. With an integrated “Train the Trainer” approach, we empowered managers to apply psychological knowledge and transformational knowledge into the organization.
We support this systematic roll-out with a designated “Core Team.” Team members were specially trained and individually coached by Manres to support as well as challenge other managers in designing and implementing their roll-out activities. In this way, Manres helped managers to help themselves, and contributed to the sustainable establishment of transformation skills within the company.
What We Achieved
For us, it is clearer than ever that you cannot simply achieve cultural change “by decree.” Change only occurs when it is lived out and developed by everyone, every day – above all by management. The old paradigm of “others have to make the first move to get me to change” is becoming less and less valid. Our global events were very inspiring in this regard, because they sparked enthusiasm and energy and gave orientation for the process ahead. We are now seeing individuals within the company taking on more and more responsibilities. Inspired by the Manres workshops and their own roll-out measures, the managers have already launched numerous initiatives in the company: regular feedback rounds within their own teams, structuring meetings to focus on our vision, mission and values, “buddy systems” and much more.
The more traction these initiatives gain, the more we begin to speak a common language: shared (psychological) concepts enable us, for example, to provide straightforward, respectful feedback on value-oriented behavior. On the personal side, managers as well as members of the Core Team have acquired transformation skills that help them to confidently deal with the cultural side of such a process and, for example, to serve as coaches for one another. These new attitudes and habits make the vision, mission and values increasingly visible and non-negotiable in our everyday work at Eppendorf. Particularly in ambivalent situations, they serve as guidelines and help us improve the working and living conditions of our employees while sustainably improving our performance.