Transformation is not for wimps

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 “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.” (Niccolo Machiavelli.)

Is it still possible to quote Machiavelli today? In times, in which we are all so cooperative, in which we no longer have bosses, only colleagues, in which ties waste away glumly in wardrobes?

We can, when his words are so aptly formulated. There are fundamental aspects of human behavior that we will not easily overcome. Among these, if we are being honest, is our way of dealing with renewal. We are not talking about change that comes along in small steps, that we can pretty much just accept. Steps which are not that inconvenient, now that we wear sneakers for work. When we have time in mixed teams to think about how we can be closer to customers (as if we had previously ignored them.)

Let’s talk about real RENEWAL. The type described by Schumpeter as ‘creative destruction.’ Admittedly, he used the term in a macroeconomic context, but if we follow up on his idea and take it into our business reality, we quickly come to where it hurts, where old traditions are abolished and space made for the new.

This is happening on a large scale when business models are changed, something that today is being called disruption. The dismissal of the traditional cigarette is for Philip Morris an act of creative destruction, the outcome of which should excite us. The origins of Bayer lie in the plastics business. The sale of Covestro as an IPO made space for the new – which, in the form of Monsanto brought with it great potential and likewise great risk.

But it can happen on a smaller scale; actually innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be disruptive. When the company Zumtobel now no longer just sells lamps, but lights up whole areas, supplies them with WiFi and charges a fee for this, change comes about more gently.

Disruption, revolution or innovation? Today, we call taking large steps toward the future TRANSFORMATION. Choosing this path and following it consistently is not for the faint-hearted, as the decision makers at Philip Morris, Bayer, or Zumtobel will confirm.

Transformation requires the will to innovate and the courage to destroy, always with a concept of the new, since this alternative to the current status quo needs to be actually implemented. Only with an image of this (better) future will these innovators succeed in winning enough fellow proponents over to the transformation.

An illuminated world was the vision of Thomas A. Edison and the journey toward it was a long one for his team. “There is a better way to do it, find it!” makes it clear how much effort was involved in realizing Edison’s vision. Alongside the courage to innovate and a concept of the goal, there has to be lots of ambition, in order not to be satisfied with too little.

All this must be shared. Convincing people of the need for innovation and finding the way together while encouraging and challenging them can allow a transformation to be successful. There are hardly any other options. At least not if we no longer want to rely on the one genial leader at the top – who are becoming increasingly rare anyway. But let’s be clear about this: executives are a central part of the transformation. There is no revolution bottom-up. Transformation will only work when the management is courageous and consequent about it. Employees are very critical when fine speeches and posters once again proclaim the bright new future. They scrutinize their leadership closely – and if it is not really sincerely forging ahead, they sit back and let it pass them by. Bending is the unofficial technical term for this phenomenon and it kills every transformation.

Working against it requires the most courageous step of all: the step towards changing yourself. Those who take the issue seriously must scrutinize themselves and their own behavior. When the subject of transformation is on the table, ideas quickly emerge about what could be done better in other areas. How others need to change. Everything that needs to happen somewhere else. This is not how it works. More or less well-intentioned suggestions are followed by the reflex “That’s just what we do already…” or tit-for-tat responses without constructive potential.

If, regardless of our function and position, we want genuine transformation, we must begin with ourselves, on a very personal level. “What am I doing today that is incompatible with the future? How should I behave? What is holding me back from this? What is my contribution to change? How consistently am I implementing this?” To answer these questions and to change yourself takes a certain amount of courage. “Walking the talk” is the most difficult part of the transformation, and it really isn’t for wimps.

The author

Kai Anderson

is one of the most sought-after change experts in Germany. He coaches and guides executives in transforming their organization. Kai is author and publisher of the books “The Agile Enterprise” and “Digital Human – The human being at the center of digitization”.

Transform Your Business Festival

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Promerit @ Transform your Business from 13 – 15 September, 2018 in Berlin

Transform Your Business is a three-day international business festival hosted by Quadriga University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. It is a platform for European professionals to discuss megatrends like AI, New Work, Data Analytics and how they can be applied to HR, Sales, Communication and Marketing. It takes place from 13 – 15 September, 2018 in Berlin, one of the creative and entrepreneurial hubs of Europe.

Promerit is proud to be part of Transform Your Business with a unique Workshop setting called „Synthesis“ to combine expert conference, peer exchange and talent hackathon for agile organizational development.

Join us for an experience to transform your business

Let’s face reality – right now is the slowest pace of change that we’ll ever experience in our lives, yet it feels pretty fast to us. To help work through this, we created a truly unique experience designed to push boundaries and challenge participants to think differently about the issues of today and tomorrow. A real-time learning environment that brought our best thinking not in a conference room, but into the real world. Like most future-thinking products, this is an experiment.


  • Join a truly unique experience designed to push boundaries and think differently about the company issues of today and tomorrow
  • Get an overview how to accelerate your agile and digital transformation
  • Learn from experts and participants about their experiences and approaches
  • Get practical impulses for your agile and digital roadmap
  • Meet and network with inspiring thought leaders outside of your bubble
  • Meet stakeholders from your community


  • More than 50 international participants
  • A real-time learning environment that brought our best thinking not in a conference room, but into the real world.
  • 4 hours of interactive sessions, dialog and networking
  • Immersive Gallery with 4 central themes to drive agile and digital transformation
  • Framestorming and synthesis hackathon sessions to shape the future together in a unique way
  • Action planning and practical approaches for your company roadmap to accelerate agile and digital transformation


  1. Key-Impulse: Immersive Future Gallery
    Explore 4 key levers within the future organization: strategy, culture, talent & leadership and processes & structures
  2. Re-Framing: Framestorming
    Crowdsource, reframe, and prioritize the most pressing questions for each lever
  3. Re-Thinking: Synthesis Hackathon
    Assess your own organizations’ maturity and develop a business canvas out of it
  4. Re-Shaping: Action Planning
    Create a customized roadmap for a future orientated agile & digital organization


Join us in Berlin – we are glad to see you in September to TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS

Meet us @ SuccessConnect 2018 in Berlin

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#Promerit #SuccessConnect18 #Berlin

Meet Promerit’s SAP SuccessFactors experts at SuccessConnect in Berlin on June 18th to 20th this year.

SAP´s global event brings together leading HR Managers to discuss the latest technologies, strategies and best practices for Human Capital Management in a cloud-based environment as well as the digital transformation of HR.

Through interesting keynote speeches and breakout sessions attendees will get an overview about the digital transformation in HR and the SAP SuccessFactors cloud solution.

As last year at the SuccessConnect in London, Promerit will participate with a variety of module and integration specialists and is keen to get in touch with you to discuss your journey into the Cloud.

Get an idea of our services and our consulting projects. Meet our experts in person at the Promerit booth or check-out our customer case with Ledvance on the subject of “learning”.

You can make an appointment in advance on SuccessConnect.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin!

SYNTHESIS Global Summit – the Future of Work

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In London on 25 April, Mercer will convene executives from around the world and across industries to reimagine how work, the workforce and business growth can intersect in the future. Building upon the success of the June 2017 inaugural event in New York City, and subsequent events in Silicon Valley and Tokyo, the 2018 Global Summit will focus on the The Future of Work.


Often something crucial is overseen in the digital transformation. The human being is at the center of the entire transformation, we call digitization. How do we make sure, it receives full attention? How do we establish a digital culture in organizations? How do we develop digital competencies? What is an appropriate environment for what we call the New Work Order? Find out some answers in the panel discussion with Kai Anderson.


We created a unique experience to push boundaries and challenge participants to think differently about the issues of today and tomorrow. Synthesis is a real-time learning experience that prepares us for the future of work – not just in a conference room, but also in the real world.

Business Breakfast Frankfurt

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On May 16, 2018, Realright and Workday invite to the Business Breakfast in Frankfurt. The half-day event is perfect for networking with HR decision makers and for acquiring new, valuable insights while having finger food and beverages. The event will be completed by informative customer presentations by the Hensoldt Group and Scout 24, as well as a keynote by neuroscientist Dr. Ing. Henning Beck.

For more information and registration,  please follow the link to the Xing Event or send an email to