Digital solutions are no longer a vision of the future or an abstract macro-trend, they’re here, and here to stay. They are changing the world as we know it. What is new, is how radical this change is becoming and its sheer velocity. Small fry can suddenly be the biggest fish in the pond and throw established industries out of kilter. This trend was the focal topic of a series of afterwork events for specialist managers, business people, and anyone else interested in these issues. The events were organized by the Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation (Steinbeis-SMI) as part of a Steinbeis Network program in Munich and Berlin.
Around 140 decision-makers and visionary thinkers involved in management, HR, leadership, and the world of digital technology attended the events, once in Munich on April 13, and once in Berlin on May 10. The thought-provoking title of the afterwork events was “DIGITAL CHANGES nothing. Only everything!” They were staged in the Steinbeis-SMI building to provide plenty of space to discuss ways to actively manage digital transformation and the best ways to use digital technology at companies.
There were also key-note speeches focusing on whether digital technology can change entire markets and sectors of industry, as well as ways for companies to deliberately and systematically cope with digitalization. Alissia Iljaitsch, who is a digital innovation strategist, drew on a variety of projects in business that were striking examples of how innovation can be successfully promoted in companies. Her speech placed particular emphasis on virtual reality examples, underpinned by issues regarding how companies deal with disruptive technology within their own organization.
At the event in Munich, Oliver Kempkens, CEO of ITMP Deutschland GmbH, outlined why digitalization is not limited to certain industries. It places strong demands on the organizational structures of all businesses and requires them to engage in “corporate renovation.” At the Berlin event, Prof. Dr. Andreas Aulinger, professor of organizational management at Steinbeis University Berlin showed how connected manufacturing (or Industry 4.0) needs an Organization 4.0, also examining the consequences this has for how people deal with power, planning, and learning within organizations.
Both afterwork events were moderated by Carsten Rasner, director of the Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation. After the speeches, the guests had the chance to mingle and talk with others. This was an ideal opportunity not just to go through their own questions with the speakers, but also to get a hands-on feel of virtual reality, thanks to a VR headset brought to the event by Alissia Iljaitsch. The Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation has been inviting managers and technical specialists to Steinbeis Network afterwork events since the fall of 2015 under the banner Insights + Innovation@ Steinbeis-SMI. The idea is to explore the topics of HR + Leadership, Management + Innovation, and Digital Media + Marketing.