Transformation is always a quiet process, rather than a big colorful workshop.

Which people do you need in the age of digitalization? Wolf Lotter posed this question in the September issue of brandeins. Thomas Dettling (Siemens Digital Transformation Manager) agrees:

"The organization of the knowledge society is about bringing competencies together – not playing people off against each other to stay in power."

This requires new processes, new incentives and a new understanding. But this is not so easy, since cultural transformation interferes with the natural human operating system; people must first become aware of their mostly unconscious (self-) perception and their actual actions. A few people probably consciously plan to trick others, to keep knowledge for themselves and to make themselves indispensable in order make a good impression. And our complex psychology finds good reasons to do so. This is comparable to a custody battle: Both parents believe they are acting in the best interests of the child and see in the other the true villain from whom the child must be protected. The result is a great loss for the child, whose well-being is actually at stake, and the opponents themselves also suffer enormously. There is obviously – especially in emotionally demanding situations – a high likelihood that our actual actions and our perception of them differ greatly.

Every day on LinkedIn, impressive photos and reports are posted about exciting workshops with highly motivated people who appear to be having a great time celebrating a new beginning with lots of post-it's and a highly motivating motto. The initiators, trainers and perhaps also the participants hope to have set the course for a new beginning. Maybe some will reach their goal. But will everyone? And for how long? Because what we believe we are doing is often far-removed from reality.

The only way to sustain new beginnings is if the deep fears and needs of employees (including managers) are accurately reflected and anticipated, and companies themselves have good ideas about how to redirect this strong emotional energy towards the corporate vision.

Thus, a cultural transformation is a profound and quiet process for every individual who needs support, which must clearly precede the encouragement and motivation to which the companies dedicate themselves in times of cultural transformation, especially in the context of many workshops.