In our #ChangeAgents section, we introduce people who encourage us to tackle and change things: strong minds, who work with passion for a more humane working world, thus initiating a change in thinking and actively helping to shape change processes. Our #ChangeAgents are role models, lateral thinkers, multipliers and dissenters.
Rainer Gimbel is Digital Strategist at Evonik, where he is responsible for the intra-group social network. As a #ChangeAgent, he supports users to make their work more collaborative and lives the idea of “Working Out Loud consistently and unconditionally.” All good reasons to introduce him here.
Rainer, if you could change something in the working world immediately, what would it be?
Basically, in the working world, I would like management as well as employees to have more courage to question things “that have always been done this way” and, if necessary, put them to the test.
You are an expert in internal networking. What is your personal contribution to something changing?
For one, I have been responsible for our intra-group social network for 6 years. Our (small) project team is driving forward technical development and helping users make their work more collaborative. Additionally, I try to work and live the idea of “Working Out Loud” consistently and unconditionally. So, I make my work and my work results visible and discoverable for my colleagues. For me, the “Working Out Loud” method, from the point of view of the employees, is the guarantor of successful work in the network, and, from the point of view of the company, it’s the prerequisite for being able to react better to more difficult conditions.
What does a company look like to you that is prepared for the “working world of tomorrow?” And how can internal networking contribute to this?
For changes in the environment, such as new customer needs, or changes in the marketplace, companies will have to react much faster and more flexibly in the future than they have in the past. In the “working world of tomorrow,” small, flexible and well-networked cells are increasingly replacing rigid hierarchical organization and are thus forming a kind of nervous system. So, if something happens at one end of the world that is relevant to the business, it’s important that that information go immediately to the other end of the world so that the right decision can be made as quickly and autonomously as possible. Good analogue and digital networking among employees, as well as between employees and external partners, is essential to survival.
Rainer, thank you for your time & the exciting answers!