p AGe the stern steWArt InstItute perIODIcAl #11 ?· the stern steWArt InstItute perIODIcAl #11 rObert…

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<ul><li><p>p A G e5 2</p><p>t h e s t e r n s t e W A r t I n s t I t u t e p e r I O D I c A l # 1 1r O b e r t F r I e D m A n n : s e l F I e h e r e , s e l F I e t h e r e , s e l F I e e v e r y W h e r e W h A t k e e p s c O m p A n I e s A l I v e b e s I D e s G r O W t h </p></li><li><p>t h e A u t h O r</p><p>Robert Friedmann Chairman of the Central Managing BoardWrth Group</p><p>p A G e5 3</p><p>Lets talk about reptiles. What color does a chameleon turn if we put it in a hall of mirrors? What color does it take on when it is not surrounded by anything? Does it stay its original color? Does the creature take on different shades? Or is it just plain driven to color madness? </p><p>Lets talk about innovation strategies for companies in their best years, so Best Ager Companies, companies by which we set our watches until the phrase to constantly reinvent themselves drops. Just like the constant on-slaught of selfie postings, companies are aiming to im-prove themselves in the eyes of others. New divisions, other market segments, innovative distribution channels, always getting more up close and personal with the cus-tomer these are all typical optimization strategies that create more growth. </p><p>Selfie Here, Selfie There, Selfie Everywhere What Keeps Companies Alive Besides Growth </p></li><li><p>In the world of our chameleon, that means finding more branches and attracting more insects. Naturally this is how economic growth works, increasing the acquis. A corporate culture that has aptly earned the suffix culture is generally equated with continuity and with being down to earth. However, what is really meant is something differ-ent, namely, authenticity, an authenticity that forgoes self- development in the hall of mirrors and character masks. It doesnt preclude allowing for annoyances and the posing of critical questions, but it does do without subjecting it-self to the pressure of having to keep reinventing itself. </p><p>Is that authentic? If corporate culture comes as close as possible to answering this question, then the company is closing in on an unmistakable core element of personality </p><p>p A G e5 4</p><p>t h e s t e r n s t e W A r t I n s t I t u t e p e r I O D I c A l # 1 1r O b e r t F r I e D m A n n : s e l F I e h e r e , s e l F I e t h e r e , s e l F I e e v e r y W h e r e W h A t k e e p s c O m p A n I e s A l I v e b e s I D e s G r O W t h </p><p>that keeps management, the employees, future employ - ees and, ultimately, the company alive.</p><p>At Wrth, our saying is thank you. The most important words in dealing with each other are thank you and this is anchored in the guidelines of our corporate culture. This isnt just a polite way of putting a lid on a given matter, and neither are we making a demand for a dutiful thank you, as if we were speaking to a forgetful child: Now, what do you say? If one adopts the authenticity of corporate guidelines, nobody will, in this case, be standing behind us with a raised pointer finger asking to hear that magic words. Thank you is also not the antiquated predecessor of the selfie. As soon as it is made to be not about the coun-terpart, but, rather ones own wellbeing, the immediacy of </p></li><li><p>p A G e5 5</p><p>t h e s t e r n s t e W A r t I n s t I t u t e p e r I O D I c A l # 1 1r O b e r t F r I e D m A n n : s e l F I e h e r e , s e l F I e t h e r e , s e l F I e e v e r y W h e r e W h A t k e e p s c O m p A n I e s A l I v e b e s I D e s G r O W t h </p><p>the thank you is looked upon skeptically thus creating a noticeable gap. Corporate culture breathes when it ques-tions itself. On a strategy map geared to growth targets and target achievement, the answer to the question, What does that mean for our day-to-day work? cant be omitted. This is by no means exclusively about processes, resources, and partners. It is about management, employees, and values. For this, no selfie corporate culture is required.</p><p>The story of the chameleon is not over yet. In the hall of mirrors the creature tends to go from dark brown to green, so to the color it shows when it feels scared. Presumably when it experiences moments of authenticity it experi-ences feelings of stress with itself. Corporate culture is al-lowed to create fear, too, because stabilizing it and defend-ing it against attacks are, in addition to operative innova-tion, what constitute the lifeblood of Best Ager Companies. </p></li></ul>

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