Culture eats strategy for breakfast

5 Jul 2023

Guest lecture by Markus Schmidt, former board member of Bosch Automotive Electronics, founder and CEO of QSID Digital Advisory

On July 4th, 2023 we had the honor of hosting Markus Schmidt, former board member of Bosch Automotive Electronics and founder and CEO of QSID Digital Advisory, in our International Human Resource Management class.

Markus shared invaluable insights on the current business landscape, focusing on three megatrends that are driving the dynamic transformation of numerous companies: globalization, digitalization, and sustainability. European companies are facing intense competition from their U.S. and Chinese counterparts, but their traditional corporate cultures often hinder the necessary changes. Even meticulously crafted transformation strategies frequently fall short, as success relies not only on "hard" organizational factors but increasingly on "soft" cultural factors.

With decades of experience, Markus concluded: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Markus emphasized the new challenges faced by C-suite executives. To foster an effective culture of innovation, leaders must embrace a greater tolerance for mistakes, encourage frequent feedback, and build trust-based relationships with their employees. In an ever-evolving and complex "world of contradictions," leaders must provide guidance and orientation to employees from diverse backgrounds. Effective communication across cultures is paramount, as leaders must not solely focus on measurable metrics but also understand the importance of leading their teams and themselves.

In this context, Markus imparted a powerful message to the students: "Don't aspire to top management solely for status and money! Pursue this path only if you genuinely enjoy working with people.