Let the employees have control!

How to kill a great organisation-Podcast

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At Tele Haase, the employees play a decisive role and have learned not only how to deal with change, but also how to manage it. What you need for this to work is the right culture, characterized by mutual trust, transparency and autonomy.

Only recently, the production was switched to a four-day week, initiated by the staff – an unusual step from the outside. Markus Stelzmann, „director“ and managing director of Tele Haase, tells how courage to change, willingness to learn and mutual empowerment have paid off at Tele Haase.

The focus of the discussion was the topic of „New Work“, which Markus Stelzmann has been dealing with successfully for many years, wanting to prove with Tele Haase „that doing business differently is possible“.

Empowering staff to participate through the right culture

Stelzmann talked in detail about the introduction of the 4-day week in production. It was started as an experiment, decided democratically and driven by the employees.

„The production workers really didn’t make it easy for themselves. They really thought it through. And today we still produce the same number of pieces per week and can cope with the growth. And the quality has also remained the same.“

But the success of this experiment was only possible because Tele Haase has been actively working on „shaping the culture“ for many years. Ten years ago, Tele Haase started to position itself as a company of the future, together with its employees. The pandemic also proved that the work has paid off. The existing foundation made it extremely easy for Tele Haase to adapt to the changed conditions. Stelzmann named transparency, trust and the abolition of hierarchies as the most important cultural characteristics. Stelzmann describes lived transparency as follows: „The employees know all the figures, they know what we have in the company accounts. They know what I earn, what the owners take out.“ Stelzmann sees the handling of information as a debt to be collected – so the employees are given the opportunity to act as entrepreneurs.

„The employees have a huge interest in participating if you take them seriously.“

The new business currency is trust

For Stelzmann, trust means involving employees in decision-making processes and giving them the feeling that they are being taken seriously.

Stelzmann then went into the details of the implementation of the 4-day week in production. Topics such as automation, rationalisation and autonomy in the design of processes play a major role. A central element in the organisation at Tele Haase are the „circles“ and the „circle officers“ who are democratically elected. However, Stelzmann also addressed the challenges and difficulties of this form of organisation:

„The world has become more unpredictable, more complex. We try to love change with the staff. We’ve changed our organisation four times in the last few years and we can, because we’ve laid the foundations, adapt relatively quickly.“

Here it takes courage to enter into processes that are open-ended and at the same time also to break off in time. Because transformation is always difficult. Stellmann also emphasises at this point how important trust is when it comes to far-reaching changes: „the new currency in the company is trust.“

Tele Haase is an inspiring example of how a company can pave a new path together with its employees. Ongoing changes are only possible with trust, by providing security, but also by opening up room for manoeuvre with the greatest possible autonomy for employees, while at the same time inviting them to take responsibility.

The full length interview:

This text was translated by a machine and clearly shows that we still have a long way to go before we are in danger of being rendered obsolete by A.I..

Markus Petz: Yes. Welcome to the new episode of our „How to Kill a Great Organisation“ podcast. We talk to people who are crucial to the long-term success of their organisation. My name is Markus Petz. I am one of the founders of MetaShift and today I welcome Markus Stelzmann. He has been with the company TeleHaase for almost ten years now, if I see it correctly, which is characterised by „New Work“ – „Neues Arbeiten“. And before I welcome Markus now. Hello Markus!

Markus Stelzmann: Hello Markus, that sounds like it!

Markus Petz: Yes, I hope you can hear me well.

Markus Stelzmann: Yes, perfect. Everything is fine.

Markus Petz: And yes, before I ask you to introduce yourself now, I brought a question. Namely: „What was the decisive factor in your life that led you to this topic of New Work? Was there a moment when it „clicked“, so to speak?

Markus Stelzmann: No, I probably didn’t experience the „click“ moment, but I have, let’s say, in this accumulation of my activities over my working life, I have noticed more and more that the way things are in this monoculture of business, if you want to call it that. That it can’t work like that, from my point of view. This click comes from my youth or from my upbringing. I come from social pedagogues and curative pedagogues and special school teachers, that was my parents and my brother and I, we grew up with a few frameworks and values. Like: „Don’t make a career at the expense of others. If you start something, finish it. Afterwards you can always do something again and we love you unconditionally“. And that’s how I got into working life, via Mercedes Benz, Festo, Festo Didaktik. And so on and so forth. Becky, BC. And these values are inside. And at some point I saw my brother again, who is actually very successful in the classical economic field. He is the co-owner of a large business law firm that he co-founded, which has well over 400 employees. So if you somehow add up all the locations there and that then at some point/ Maybe the click moment was after my last own company that I had sold, the company Becky Bit. Then I thought to myself: Yes, Markus, why are your brother, Niki and you/ Why are we so successful in this classic sector, let’s say according to classic evaluation criteria? Although my parents never had anything to do with economics and business management. They never bought a flat.

Markus Stelzmann: They travelled the world with us in a VW bus. And so on and so forth. And that’s when I saw. So this freedom, this creativity. And I already had a large part of my working life behind me: this „I can do what I want and there is always something that supports me, that is by my side! So my parents or now my mother only. But that always gave me security. I could always go home. And I always did laundry for a long time and got care packages from my mother. Also, and I think that gave my brother and me the security to be, shall I say, successful in life. We were always curious, we were brave. And the click moment was when I met Christoph Haase and we, he in his frustration with his company and I in something new, threw it together. Maybe that’s the click moment when we simply said, we’re going to prove that doing business differently is possible.

Markus Petz: Okay, would you like to add something about yourself? You are also something totally telling. TeleHaase entrepreneurs.

Markus Stelzmann: With pleasure. So as I said, my name is Markus Stelzmann, 57 years old, married, no children. I commute or I live in Vienna for the most part, but I also have, let’s say, a residence in Stuttgart. You can probably hear it: the German I live near Stuttgart, as I said. Yes, my career: toolmaker, master toolmaker at Daimler Benz. Then I studied to become a teacher for primary and secondary schools. Studied a bit of psychology. Then I founded the first factory in the factory, at Festo. Then worked at Festo, also as materials management manager… And then bought another company out of Festo. And you can see that in itself: I like to move around and open up new things. And then sold. And as I said, today then now with Tallahassee, a now almost 60-year-old company from the field of electromechanics or electrical engineering, you can also call it. So we are, I always say the smallest largest world market leader in timing and monitoring relays. So we/ We develop and produce in Vienna for the world market, for our customers in the field of automation. In the field of renewable energies, we develop products and services in Vienna. And as I said, there we are the „smallest biggest“. And if you have a product from a large manufacturer or provider in automation in Germany that looks a bit like relays, you have a great chance that our development is in it. And yes, as I said, in the meantime I am also a small owner here and as I said, and call myself director, but „formerly known as“ managing director of the company Telebörse.

Markus Petz: Wonderful! Dear Markus, today we have taken up the topic that is quite exciting for a production company, namely the introduction of the four-day week in production as an entry point. Could you perhaps tell us, very briefly, in summary: What was that like? How did it come about in the organisation? What was the process like up to that point?

Markus Stelzmann: It’s good that you asked me. Actually, I can’t really tell you in detail, because I wasn’t involved as Managing Director. But I can tell you from my position, from my point of view. It was really the case that I went to the company on Fridays. And we have had „work anywhere“ for the administrative area, not home office: „work anywhere“ for a long time or for a long time, for about eight years. And, as I said, and production, which is currently also, it has to be said, for two years we have also been growing. Even though we no longer have management. And so on, we are growing more than the market or than our companions. And as I said, and we usually also have rapidly increasing numbers to produce. And as I said, I used to come to the company on Fridays and find no more production. And so I didn’t find any production employees. And the next week I asked if something was broken or something: no! Mrs. Weinberger then informed me that they had introduced the four-day week at Tele every two weeks and that they had decided this in a grassroots democracy within their ranks. And that they would now try it out as an experiment. And I have to say quite honestly, after such an initial „Hui“. „Courageous!“

Markus Stelzmann: Courageous!

Markus Stelzmann: Then came the paternal pride. And paternal pride. And when I somehow see that today in the ranks of other managing directors in the manufacturing industry. It is. I always have this look: „Oh God, oh God, he’s allowing chaos!“ And that’s not the case at all. Because, really, the production workers, they really didn’t make it easy for themselves. They really thought it through. And yes, that’s how it is. That’s how it came about. And we still produce the same numbers of pieces per week today and we can still manage the growth. And the quality is also the same. So I say, „Yes, then why not?“. Okay.

Markus Petz: Yes, of course. Now, of course, the question is: That sounds very, very unusual, that you come as Managing Director, didn’t know anything about it, and suddenly it was there. Which ones? What cultural characteristics do you need for that? That support such an attitude on the one hand, but then also such action?

Markus Stelzmann: Exactly, and you’re saying the right thing: cultural characteristics is exactly the right thing. And I would like to warn you here. You don’t develop this/ Well, I would say that you don’t develop this kind of behaviour from the employees, if desired, in a year or in a project or something. That’s really – that’s shaping a culture. And yes, this culture, we started generating or developing the company of the future at Tele about 19 years ago. Together with the employees. Through a lot of movement and a lot of misunderstandings and really borderline things, we have developed towards this today. And I think one point is really first of all transparency. About this transparency that we have in the company, this high transparency: „And what does high transparency mean?“ It means that the employees know all the figures. They know all the figures, right down to what we have in the company accounts. They know what I earn, what the owners take out. And so on and so forth. On the basis of this transparency, we have started to explain to the employees, to all employees – we have also demystified this Business Baba a bit – we have started to explain the figures to the employees: how are they connected, what works, what is an EGT, what is in EBTA, what are OPAGS? Today, I would say, every production employee can rudimentarily guess a balance sheet.

Markus Stelzmann: And we have simply taught them how to act economically and have actually also this thing that is so common in companies, this always „my little garden“ and keeping this information advantage here and acting with, let’s say, information – we no longer have that in the company. That means we are transparent. Anyone who is interested can get the information, so we have a clear obligation to get it, because everything is in one place, you can look at it from anywhere in the world and you can ask questions, and Controlling has also, I think, developed special reports for the employees and owners together over the last eight years. So that they can be read, so that it can be assessed. And with that I can perhaps explain it, visitors have also said, we actually train entrepreneurs, meanwhile at Tele. So we give you the insight behind the scenes: how does business work, what is relevant. And whoever wants to know that knows. And with that, the female employees also have the opportunity to act like entrepreneurs. And that’s what they did in this case.

Markus Petz: Now you have told us that you also bring a lot of frameworks, information, background information to the employees, so that there is an overall picture, a big picture. Where they then also recognise the meaning for themselves? Now I ask you, what I often encounter is this scepticism in the sense of: Well, especially in production. These are employees who only want to work their 7/2 or eight hours. They want clear instructions. At the end of the day, they want to collect their money. But this background information is of little interest to people, at least in the production sector. And that’s why it’s difficult to get that across.“ I mean, as Tele Haase you are also embedded in society and how do you deal with the fact that this question keeps coming up: „Can you explain this background to the people in production in such a way that they find it interesting and inspiring? When at the same time the argument comes up: „Well, in reality they are not interested“.

Markus Stelzmann: I’ll put it this way, there is certainly a lot that you just said that still corresponds to the truth here today, because I say we are a reflection of society and society with its educational systems and with the things as they are, still produces today/I always say in the direction of a terrorist system and that is certainly there. But we just don’t give up on Tele. And that is precisely the issue. The theme is also „demand and promote“. Of course, in production, too, I would say, we act differently than we do in the administrative area. We have the same values. And so on or so, but we give these circles, we don’t have departments any more. Let’s give them the chance to develop a little bit, not only a little bit, but also to a large extent autonomously, so that it works. And what is easy for us in production. And that’s what I can say in advance now, and with that I’m already speaking against what you’re saying The employees have a huge interest in participating if you take them seriously and if you don’t talk about them. And of course that was the case with us. It didn’t start with the four-day week, of course, but it started with, it’s messy here. Do you think so too? Yes. Aha. And then okay, how can we tidy up and how can we tidy up? Then we ordered shelves together or, „Which chairs do you need? They were more and more involved in decisions.

Markus Stelzmann: And there is also trust. And that is exactly what is important. Is this trust that an employee needs. „Yes, I am taken seriously in this decision-making process and the majority of us – it can also be that I am outvoted. We have decided and then I go along with it, but I was also asked beforehand. And that’s what we’ve always done over the last few years. And we have given them budgets that they can use. That means they have started to buy mega brands. They have started to buy consulting services because they want their things/ That this is coordinated by, of course, we have elected district managers. And that of course it is coordinated a bit centrally. But just to be able to choose one’s superior, let’s say in the classical sense, and thus also to support a direction in the area of production. That was appreciated and in the end I have to say quite honestly that in the whole transformation that we have had over the last ten years, the production area is the one that has developed the most, the best. Also in terms of an identity with the company. And I find that, I found that/ I still find that very beautiful today. So it’s a pity we didn’t take any time-lapse photos. You suddenly saw how the company develops. And

Markus Stelzmann: we had a visit from a big company last week, they had eleven vans on and ing it on the Senior Vice President, he looked into the production and said, yes, I recognise the system behind it and that is, you can look up there and realise, it’s quiet down there, the employees communicate the, the employees deal with each other properly. We have, for example, what was then very totalitarian. We also have German as the master language down there, which means that German is spoken during work. We trained the staff in German. We still attach importance to it today. So whoever comes in trained themselves in have also brought them closer to all this what used to be paper stuff digitalisation. We started to do a lot of things digitally, together, and we always took them with us. And I think what we’re talking about now, today, the four-day week is actually just now the natural end of it. That is to say, we have shaped culture down there for over eight years, and this is now the first, not the first attempt, but the first impact. Now we’re going to try it out for ourselves and see if it works. And I think it’s really strong and I’m also deeply convinced that they have decided that, that, that, that this can have a future, because even before the four-day week there was a much more decisive point for me. They bought a new machine with a robot. You have made a decision in the production process, you have discussed it, you have increasing quantities and you have bought a machine that is equipped with a robot.

Markus Stelzmann: So that means that a robot from the logistics department now drives to the machine and brings in the parts and also places them in and finishes them off. But that means that one job is lost. And that’s what they have. In the meantime, we always say „rationalise yourself away, we’ll find something new for you“. And that has been a bit of a theme. That’s exactly what has happened in full awareness. We can’t change it. We will have to automate. We are in high-wage country. I wonder if you felt that way. But I think the feeling is there. We’re not going to change it. So that means that if we now do the same and bring in the robot, then we still have, until it runs properly and everything, we still have the chance to invite the employees who have done this job before or where it was part of their job, into other jobs or also to make a use or also a clear decision that I actually find the exciting thing in it, so this. So this, this, this autonomy and so this being empowered to make such decisions and to make them consciously and also, I say, considering everything. I think the staff have considered much more than I would have if I had introduced the four-day week down there. And that’s why not to say.

Markus Petz: I have now become a bit attentive, as you said, you have elected circles, people in charge. That’s what interests me now. How, how, how can I imagine that? Is there a certain rhythm of time when elections are held again? Like in a democracy? Or. Or when there is discontent or tension? Or how can you describe the system, this.

Markus Stelzmann: Dissatisfaction, tension. So everything is possible, so to speak. But in theory, every two years the districts become responsible. We have four big circles to form the Regia, which now as managing directors, that is also in the circle, but circles we have circle production, circles, develop products, circle selling and circle organisation support. That’s gathering circle, controlling circle. And so on. And that is quite normal. Every two years elections are called. So, we vote again. It’s time to vote again, elections and elections and then you can apply. So that means that every staff member has the chance, he or she makes it quite simple, he or she submits a letter of application, so to speak, and then there are, as I said, stand ups. And so on. He does a bit of election campaigning for his district, does a bit of election campaigning for his district and that is also discussed a lot beforehand. And then the candidates are nominated and put up, and then the staff normally elect the candidates for the districts and they are elected for two years. Then there are the first 100 days, when there are feedback interviews. Then the staff are asked, would you vote again? And so on, and then those elected can accept the election. And as I said, it’s only for a limited period of time. They also get a bit more money because they do their work, so it has to be like that, so they do this circle responsibility is only 20 %, they also continue to work operationally.

Markus Stelzmann: It’s not pure management. Sometimes we have a bit of trouble with that. Now that, let’s just say, the economic situation, i.e. procurement, market, etc. or energy costs are difficult or a bit more strained, where there is a bit more to do, we sometimes have a bit of an issue. But we also want autonomy, which means that it is not the wave supervisor who decides, but in the end it is their representative who develops this circle, I would say, together with them. But this is the so-called person responsible for the subject and at the same time we have the so-called party Michi, the so-called person responsible for personnel, and it means that an employee actually has two contact persons, one is the person responsible for the subject and the other is responsible for personnel. They sort of share these, these, these responsibilities and the Michi takes care of the further training, of the evaluation, of all these things that so and so does after receiving. And on the other hand, we have this professional responsibility, which is developing the circle with the female staff. And yes, you can accept that, you can, if you want to, that has also happened that those responsible have said Ui, my operational business, I want to change and it becomes more, I want, then give it back, then it will be re-elected or I say, after 100 days, if it would have been rough, one could also have voted it out again.

Markus Stelzmann: Well, there are all of them. We have already had a vote out, initiated by the staff. So anything can happen, and we have rudimentary rules on how that works. But on the whole, it’s relatively unspectacular here. It’s like this now, we’ve just reached the halfway point, I think, in the last election period and you can already see that the first new people are positioning themselves who would also like to do this. And what’s more, that too. The nice thing is that the employees also have a very good sense of who represents me, it’s not so much about who represents me, it’s not so much about the works council, who represents me well in terms of my salary or something like that, but who? Who is the one who has a good address, who also speaks well for the interests of our group in the organisation? In the budget preparation. And so on and so forth, because all the employees prepare the budgets. Who would be the best person to speak for us? If it were our best lobbyist, who can represent it best in the company? That is exciting and that is democracy. And. And as I said, we’ve done very well with it now.

Markus Petz: That also sounds very unusual when I think of traditional companies. All in all, it sounds like there’s a lot of creative freedom, trust and communication at eye level, just as you describe it. Now I think to myself, at the same time there will be pain here or there. So I think to myself that there will also have been experiences here where it was difficult. Would you like to share a little bit about what you have or perhaps what has remained difficult to this day?

Markus Stelzmann: I would say that there are people in all corners, there are people in all corners and I think everyone can understand that. I think the biggest difficulty that every company has that is on a path like ours is The world is simple. I’ll make it bigger again. First of all, the world has become more predictable and it’s complex. And we’re trying to help the staff, I’ll say, to love change. That means that we have changed our organisation four times in the last few years, because we already have the basis, also in terms of our understanding of our roles, because we can adapt relatively quickly and I think that in the meantime it is also a great art, they can all change relatively well. But nevertheless, the big difficulties are still when. And I think everyone knows that. We are relatively good at designing open-ended projects, processes, and also projects where we simply say we’ll take a look and we, we, we dare to stop it in time or change it so that it is there. So we, despite technology companies. But I think people still find it difficult to do that, because that is very, very, very necessary in our organisation.

Markus Stelzmann: Well, we can’t say. That’s going to be you somehow in three years, isn’t it? Or that’s where you’ll be in three years or have a plan like that. And this certainty. One would like to know whether one is still in this role or how one is in this role or in this role. So that means we try to give the employee a lot of confidence. I always say to give a backbone so that he can do that and to give the knowledge that it’s so, that it’s not meant maliciously, but despite all that, it still makes the company skid now and then or the individual skid. If you work for a relatively long time, I won’t say baselessly, that this is compensated for by other things, but, I will say, in the project where you, if you, if you have a big change in the company, where alone, where do you see yourself tomorrow or in How does my role in development change now? If IoT gets in there even more, then I have to change, then we have to, we have to build more MIPS or we have to do this or that. But we don’t yet know exactly how the Industrial IoT will develop in our country.

Markus Stelzmann: And that means there are always routes where you just have to do it and have confidence in it. And that is very important, the new currency in the company is trust. As much as I trust and I believe that the employees simply need that. This trust, that they are informed, that they, that they have this in knowledge, that they can assess it. The employees have to learn how to assess the company themselves. And just like a family, they have to have a common picture at certain points. And that is, for example, is € 5,000 a lot of money in and for all I care, is that a lot of money in this company or is it, is it okay to use that to be brave and do these things? But that’s exactly what you said before, that it’s this culture, this socialisation that we’ve had over the last eight years, that shapes itself, this imprinting of things that they do to us. But pain is of course also You have to communicate in our company, you have to be able to communicate.

Markus Petz: You have to.

Markus Stelzmann: You have to argue. And that is sometimes hard for the organs, even today. It’s very hard for the organisation. And we have the saying that some staff members just say no, that’s nice. I just want to work. So the expectation to develop this organisation and also the possibility, the framework that we give the staff, is always greater than what they can actually imagine, how they can move. And I say to myself, we had exactly the longing for structure yesterday is already there and we will now. We just have staff talks the Markus and I with our circle leaders and there came already the desire again a little bit shoulder. They are in the big playground and I think we just need to take a bit of a hand here or there again and we are just coming to our senses. We are already on the threshold of change again. As far as the organisation is concerned. A bit of adaptation, nothing dramatic. But you see, we initiated this two years ago and now in two years we realise that it doesn’t fit any more and then we change it. And what is nice, what, that will come, it will be spoken openly, it will be, it will be noted and we will manage that. And with that, we have also somehow, I would say, become a little better. And yes, you, I say to myself, you need a stable character to be with Tele. Especially since we also say quite clearly, although we are currently hiring a lot or new employees and we are doing well economically, but which we, for example, unlike many other companies, also no longer give.

Markus Stelzmann: We say quite clearly We will remain in the partnership as long as we are effective, as long as both of us or the company and the person and the employee are effective. We don’t give a guarantee now to work with us for life, if possible, but with us it is determining development. And that can be three weeks, that can be three years or 30 years, but there are no more of these. So, I still know that from old employers, from me. Yay! Welcome to the XY family. This is where they’re going to spend their lives now, and I’ll just say that too, and that’s another difficult thing for the employees. And then I’ll let you ask another question. That’s also difficult because we now have staff members too. They also come in full. It doesn’t matter whether they are freelancers or permanently employed. Of course, we are in Austria, we abide by law and order. But what we also have is that we don’t have any. The tele-employees no longer exist. There are the employees in the cosmos. We work together with ten start-ups that are based in our factory hub. This collaboration and that is of course. On the one hand, we have a high level of identity, that is, identification with the company. But on the other hand, of course, it’s off, there are always new people there, again and again from You come to us in the company. I also know people by now. There are always people who leave their mark on the company. And of course that is also exhausting for the employees in places.

Markus Petz: You’ve already mentioned the keyword. You said that we are doing well economically, because at the end of the day, even though it is a completely new form of organisation, the communication is clearly different than in traditional companies, the question naturally arises: What does your economic balance look like? Can you perhaps say something about that? How has it developed over the eight years that this transformation has been taking place? How has this economic performance been?

Markus Stelzmann: Yes, that is also very important for me. We are an economic enterprise, even if we are small, but we are an economic enterprise and that means we have to earn money and we have to earn more than we spend. And that’s what we are, Mrs. Hase and I, we are also demanding owners. That means we also want to earn money and. And. And. That’s okay. It’s okay. We’re not kind of swearing off any of that. Hugging our tree and just. The main thing is that we’re all together. Furniture is just a normal business enterprise. But what we believe in is that you can still be successful together. And you can simply deal with each other differently, bear with each other. And so on. And yes, we paid a lot of dues in the beginning. It was an expensive story for an SME like us, because we were, because we were. Ten years ago, the topic of New Work was still in its infancy. And it still is today. Because there is no blueprint, it has to be developed. And we had to pay a lot of dues in every respect, but we believed in it and now we are reaping the rewards. We have been for the last three years and it is perhaps also when then the second Managing Director or the pilot I am the designated pilot, the other Markus, we are all just Markus, apparently Markus.

Markus Stelzmann: In any case, in the last few years we came to be Hoechst. We were positive before, but it did a real push again. It’s a financial specialist. That’s not really mine. Mine is more organisations, the human and and as I said, and we have the last year now the last year as past year we kind of felt that. Not just felt, but in numbers. The best year in 60 years and before that was also great and this year is already going relatively. Not still relative. We always have to stop these filler words. This year is also going well again and I would say that we no longer need to hide in the classic KPIs. That’s us. We’ve said it before. In contrast to the market, we have grown stronger. We have won big customers and so on. And I’d say that in this head area it’s working better and better. And that’s another thing. Of course we love our employees, of course it’s human and everything in this company. But we certainly also make this organisation is certainly also there to prove that it can be done more efficiently. That is, if you don’t have to wait 100 years for a signature, but if you are in a position to enable your employees to decide, to say, you are the specialists, what more information do you need so that you can decide and what more do you need? I’ll also just say that we need support or assistance, and that’s what we’re seeing right now.

Markus Stelzmann: I think the pandemic and now also the current situation. One staff member said that I think we have trained for six years in order to experience or bear the fruits of these six years of hard learning and learning together and empowering ourselves together and all these things and learning to talk to each other and learning to trust. That’s what I think we have. I really think that the for us now sounds silly, but the pandemic came at the right time and we just got out of the office, went home, worked from home or wherever. And even today we have a high degree of autonomy. Today everyone always decides if, when they come, so not when they come, but if they come on that day or worked from home as with this in work anywhere. And I think that’s easy. We might have been very lucky as well, but. But on the other hand, what we reap today is also hard-earned.

Markus Petz: Yes, then maybe coming to the end, I wrote down when you look into the future, you have advantages. Not too far ahead now, but in, let’s say, two or three years, what do you think will be in store for you? What will be there? Yes.

Markus Stelzmann: I’m thinking about it right now. Yes, well, we will certainly do it again, won’t we? We’re on our way now. Just yet. Also this one. This organisation, this organisation has now just overcome, I think, that it and also understood and for itself. So this organisation intelligence, I always call it, has understood. We don’t need to go back to the classical folding and I believe that in the next two, three years and as I said we will also become the owners. We will also change things again in the organisational form. We will also change in many other ways, also with the, with all the new companies that have emerged from us, that is also, we haven’t even discussed that today. In the meantime we have this Organization Place Round, where we make all the experience of the last few years available to other companies together with you. We have the employees, we have founded a company in the USA. We have a trading company together, the employees have initiated and also implemented it and up to the Factory Hub, I think we are still at the beginning everywhere, so now. The USA is now also profitable and, as I said, I believe that in the next two to three years there will be another new company from within ourselves. Marketing has the first tendencies to become an agency.

Markus Stelzmann: I think we will develop more in our core business in this area of IoT and digitalisation. And I think we ourselves and I think in two to three years it will be just right, because we will become even more. This working at a distance, this decentralisation, this decentralised working we will have even more than we will. Sure, we already have people on other continents anyway. But, let me say, even in Austria we are now starting to have employees in Graz. So that doesn’t mean more employees who come to the office every day. We will merge more the real space with the digital space. We are now building a digital floor on top of our companies next year. Today we met a very exciting and different company that is also dealing with these issues. So that means that we, this virtual space, also the customer approach, our trade fairs will be more in the virtual space. So that means we are becoming very strong in digitalisation and at the same time in the empowerment of the employees with this digitalisation. What does digital literacy mean? We will, we will put a lot of energy into it, because we believe, together we believe, that the company will then be even better positioned. And especially we will be very independent. The next one is two or three years. I’m looking at it right now, it almost fits in.

Markus Stelzmann: The employees have a working group called Energy Self-Sufficient 2025. We want to get as close as possible to energy self-sufficiency. In the last few years we have reopened the largest solar plant in Vienna. Companies can already do this big time. In the summer, I would say we produce energy neutrally and, as I said, in the current conflict or with Ukraine, we discussed last week or the week before last how we can become even more independent, also with regard to gas. And so on and so forth. And I think that will occupy us for the next two or three years. On the one hand, there is a bit of this issue of sustainability, this We are learning about ourselves in our company in order to develop new products and services. We will give much more space to digitalisation. That means that we have now had Meter Worst and will now go into our own worlds. That means that we, with our 60, 60 partners worldwide, will then have a real platform with training courses and training rooms. And so on and so forth. What else will we have? We? I think in our products, too, we will really take another decisive step in the direction of Yes Communication, Communication. And we will try to be as different as possible. That is to say, we have already talked today about the fact that, for example, a relay needs a marketing interface and in the truest sense of the word, and that is what we are doing, we are in the process of rethinking these things and then we will simply see where, where, which projects we can now add to this.

Markus Stelzmann: We are also working to capacity, but, I’ll just say, I can’t say exactly, that’s why you’re hearing a bit of a hissy fit. Us towards. Where will it take us? Me. I always say. But maybe we are, if we succeed together. Maybe sometime in three to five years we will be the biggest consultancy or whatever you call it then or empowerment as a company with attached in the production business. I don’t know. So but. But what I do know is that in two or three years we will still exist and it will be different again. There will be new employees and others again and we are just looking forward to everyone who comes or everyone who comes. And yes, I have to tell you quite honestly, I can’t say exactly where I will have to be in three years. I would simply have to lie about that. I can only tell you what we have initiated now and where we are happy to continue.

Markus Petz: Thank you very much for this outlook and also for the conversation in general. It was totally exciting about this entry, with the very quickly and without the knowledge of the managing director or a director implemented project of a four-day week then got there. If I may summarise it for myself, permanent change needs trust on the one hand in the sense of giving security and on the other hand also room for manoeuvre, autonomy, invitation to take responsibility. And you seem to be succeeding in this to a very great extent. And yes, I am already curious. I hope that we will have another discussion like this soon, in view of everything that you have promised, everything that you have initiated, where the journey will go. And in this respect I thank you for the conversation. So once again, thank you very much for this exciting insight and.

Markus Stelzmann: Markus, thank you very much for giving us this space to talk about it.

Markus Petz: Yes, so many, many thanks at the same time to our listeners, to you as listeners. We would also like to ask you, if you liked this episode, to subscribe to us via your favourite podcast app and we would be even happier if you gave us a five-star rating or a recommendation to a colleague or someone in your circle of friends and family who might also be interested in this episode. Because that helps us to continue to attract exciting guests, to be able to explore new topics around transformation, change and transformation for them. Until the next episode, I wish you all the best. Best regards from me, Markus Petz, and the whole team of MetaShift.