Posted on 03/28/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

5 questions for … Karsten Ottenberg

„Stories“ – what is this feature all about?

Digitalization is a big deal for us at BSH – and this also applies to communications. With “Stories”, we are establishing a new digital channel that gives us the opportunity to tell the many stories of BSH, our employees, departments and regions, as well as to immerse ourselves in the various topics that are of concern to the industry and the everyday lives of our customers. Our “Stories” on the BSH Social Hub will be updated continuously and will feature new articles, infographics, videos and photo galleries, thereby allowing employees, consumers, journalists and anyone else interested in BSH and the world of home appliances to gain a deeper insight into our company, products, services and innovations – worldwide.
The BSH Social Hub is designed to be the central gateway to our digital communications channels. Using a digital format not only reaches a wider audience, but also creates convenient touchpoints, as you can check out our Social Hub and “Stories” from every mobile device. And it is not just a one-way communication channel. Readers will have the opportunity to comment on and share our stories – “Stories” is therefore also a platform for dialog.

In recent years, many of these kind of stories have probably only been published in the annual report – will there be a change?

We will no longer publish an annual report for BSH. Instead, we have chosen to provide the respective information on “Stories” from now on. In this way, we can share more insights and provide up-to-date news in various formats on a regular and timely basis. We feel that we need to become more digital and more agile, not only in business, but also in our communications. On top of that, “Stories” is even more sustainable in comparison to the 20,000 printed units of an annual report …

You mentioned digitalization as a driving force for BSH and the need to become more “agile”?

The term agility was originally used in the software industry, where development processes need to be adjusted quickly und flexibly to new and complex consumer requirements. However, agility can be transferred directly to BSH’s daily business. In recent years, we have successfully adapted to changes, streamlined processes and responded to all kinds of challenges, be it globalization or digitalization.
Within the last 50 years (by the way, this year is our big anniversary year!), BSH has undergone a successful transformation into a global multimarket group. We are also on the right path towards creating an agile mindset throughout the whole company. It means being able to quickly and flexibly adapt to a new situation. Such a mindset is crucial for our work – as is the cooperation in diverse teams.

What does agility mean for your personal life and work?

I believe that agility is about embracing change and anticipating and adapting quickly to new situations. We should always be curious – both professionally and privately – and always be interested in exchanging ideas and thoughts with others, in order to look beyond our daily routine. Some departments at BSH already use agile methods like Scrum or Kanban successfully.
These agile management methods are important for our efficient production and operations. But we also did use agile methods to define our new development program Talentify. And we will definitely make it core for MOVE, a new initiative with a team of employees from all around the globe working together to move BSH forward.

Do you follow any digital channels like a blog or something similar?

I am on LinkedIn, Xing and follow TED talks and TechCrunch as a blog.

More about …

… Scrum
Scrum is a method for lean project and product management, especially for agile software development. In a communicative team structure following the five Scrum values – commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect – short meetings are essential for implementing this method. A fixed role allocation (Scrum master, product owner and team members) ensures a certain durability of the team.

… Kanban
Kanban is a method for managing and improving workflows. Using a Kanban board, with different columns for each process step, work items and to dos are visualized. Every employee is responsible for certain work steps and thus has to make sure that corresponding work items are pulled to the next column. The visualization makes it easy to see the projects’ status quo and to identify capacity needed.
Kanban was originally developed as a lean software development method by Toyota.

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