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How TALENTIFY shapes changes in working environments through self-reflection

How TALENTIFY shapes changes in working environments through self-reflection

Reading time for this article: 4 minutes

BSH´s global talent program TALENTIFY is taking a new approach to talent development. It emphasizes self-reflection and learning based on experiences to further develop employees’ own potential. Jakob Schultz, Systems Engineer at BSH in Dillingen, Germany, shared those experiences with us and how they shaped his current professional life.

How has your way of working changed during your participation in the TALENTIFY program? 

When my TALENTIFY journey started in 2019, I thought that I have a large network, knowing a colleague in every location, department or hierarchy level. My thinking was focused on my own experiences and on convincing others of my point of view on how things should be done within BSH. Thanks to the TALENTIFY program, I met countless different people with different opinions, needs and targets. These people made me rethink my viewpoint and understand that my view was limited to our development department and/or our Dish Care world. My initial expectations to improve my abilities to change others changed. By now I can say, I stopped listening to reply and started listening to understand. At least as often as possible.

What were the three biggest lessons you learned in the TALENTIFY program? 

The first lesson is based on the awesome colleagues and impressive knowledge we have in BSH. Most of our colleagues are always motivated to give their best to achieve a certain target or to fulfill the requirements of their stakeholders. This also means that my targets may differ from others´ targets. My lesson, therefore, was to stop blaming people for doing their job. Understanding their targets, the involved stakeholders and the overall context of the issue, followed by developing a shared target, emerged to be a much more effective way of working. Think win-win. 

Derived from my first learning, the second lesson is even more about each individual colleague within BSH. In several working groups within TALENTIFY, we had to collaborate in a non-political and non-hierarchical way to achieve a certain goal. Trying to solve every kind of task by yourself simply did not work. As everything is beside your daily job, resources are limited and so we had to focus on the strength of each team member. As a developer, I have strong analytical thinking, but sometimes it is needed that somebody tells me when a result is good enough to go to the next task. This lesson taught me to empower each individual to hand over tasks, to rely on each other and to focus on the tasks, which I can do best. Sometimes this is not only helpful to complete a task but also a good approach to help others in finding their own strength. 

Besides all the daily tasks, my third lesson was a very personal one. “Working out loud” – talking to persons I hardly know about my thoughts, feelings and my personal life. Thanks to two awesome colleagues I became fully transparent and by that vulnerable. Before TALENTIFY, I would have seen this as a weakness, but the inspiring feedback and advice from these colleagues helped me to make the right decisions and to develop to the next level. By now, I try to be as transparent and empathic as possible to encourage others to do the same. Collaboration is much more efficient without assumptions, rumors or misunderstandings. 

How do you transfer these learnings into your current professional life?

As I already mentioned, some of my changed behavior in the questions above, I try to summarize it to a specific activity, which helps me every day. 

Whenever I struggle with a task or the need for feedback, I use my (TALENTIFY) network to talk to persons without any connection to the topic or project. For example, if I do not understand the actions of a Dish Care market colleague, I try to talk to a market colleague from another category. In general, I try to reach persons from another category or region, but with the needed background. Usually, the feedback is very objective, gives me another point of view and helps me to understand the situation. As the colleagues have nothing to do with the initial issue, they reply in a very honest way without any false politeness. Sometimes the feedback does not solve the problem, but at least it helps to prevent it in the future.

Even without any issue, I can only recommend talking to a colleague from another area every once in a while and letting them explain their work to you! In addition, these talks often lead to further communication, new ideas or solutions and sometimes even to a close relationship – kind of a self-made mentoring program. 

Would you recommend participating in the program to your colleagues and why?

Yes, I absolutely would.

Beside all the personal development I went through during my TALENTIFY program, we are all still part of the Team BSH. The TALENTIFY program, especially the TALENTIFY Lab and Campus, helped me to join the global BSH network and to create new friendships among colleagues. There is nothing more useful and helpful in our fast-changing corporate world than having involved friends.

 

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BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 15.6 billion and 62,000 employees in 2022, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.