Shortly after joining Siemens the pandemic made global headlines. Can you talk about the challenges you faced?
Hanna Hennig: I started in January this year and the first thing that hit me and my team was, indeed, the pandemic. Over the weekend, we had to ensure that over 300,000 of our Siemens fellows were able to work from home. We were wise enough in the past to invest in cloud-based tools, and that really was the only thing that made us resilient. It allowed us to scale up in a very short period of time. My team was also instrumental in ensuring that our people were embracing the new technology.
Now, unfortunately, we are experiencing a second lockdown. But we are also engaging in ‘new normal’ discussions, planning for how we will one day - hopefully sooner rather than later - bring our fellow colleagues back to the office. At that time, we will deploy technologies that ensure people can book their desks, social distance, and not overload the office with too many people at the same time.
How is Siemens transforming itself from a market leading industrial company, to a global digital leader in the industrial space?
HH: On October 1, 2020, the first and most important statements we received from the board were about reinventing Siemens as a company and ensuring we deliver products with purpose to our society and to our customers. There are four central themes to this, which the board has shared with us and which we’re promoting as leaders.
The first is that we create technology with purpose, which means we enable our customers to provide sustainable solutions to their customers. That might be through factory automation, mobility in smart cities or smart building infrastructure. It could be helping decarbonization by providing decentralized energy solutions, which are managing supply and demand from renewable energy sources. There’s a lot we’re doing in terms of technology with purpose, and a lot we have done over the last 170 years to reinvent ourselves and ensure we’re providing the best outcomes to our customers.
The second theme is about delivering products that really make an impact for our customers and enable them to produce more with less resources. These are, therefore, sustainable solutions.
The third is about empowering our people to make decisions that will enable them to provide the first and second themes to our customers; and to empower our customers by providing the right solutions. And last but not least is a growth mindset. For us, it’s important we’re not too overconfident. Despite being the market leader over the last 170 years, it’s really about staying humble and understanding how we can improve every day of our business.